1. Launched by the Prime Minister on 22nd January, 2015 at Panipat, Haryana
2. Expanded to cover all 640 districts by the PM on 8th March, 2018 at Jhunjhunu in Rajsthan,
3. Two major components of the Scheme , (i) Multi-sectoral intervention and media advocacy in 405 districts (including initial 161 districts) is being implemented by District Collectors & (ii) 360 degree approach in alert media advocacy & outreach activities is in operation in the remaining 235 districts.
4. 100% central sector scheme with outlay of Rs. 1132.5 Cr from 2017-18 to 2019-2020.
5. Multi-sectoral intervention in selected districts led to innovative initiatives to generate awareness and created enabling environment for girls.
6. Encouraging trends as per the latest data by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, MoH&FW for 161 districts for the time period between April-March, 2015-16 and 2016-17 indicates that;
a. Improving trend in Sex ratio at Birth (SRB) is visible in 104 BBBP districts.
b. 119 Districts have reported progress in first trimester registration against the reported Ante-Natal Care registrations
c. 146 districts have reported improvement in Institutional deliveries
7. Secondary School Enrollment target for girls raised to 82% by 2018-19. Under the Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) 2015-16: girls’ enrolment in secondary education was 80.97% against 76% in 2013-14.
· A small deposit savings scheme to promote the welfare of girl child and ensure them a secure future.
· More than 1.26 crore accounts have been opened · Amount of over Rs. 19,183 crores deposited till November 2017.
· Prime Minister launched National Nutrition Mission-2022 (Poshan Abhiyan) at Jhunjhumu on 8.3.2018 to provide the best nutrition to newborns across the nation.
· The Abhiyaan targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
· The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
· Bachche Sashakt , desh shashakt karne ka abhiyan · Budget outlay for three years from 2017-18 till 2019-20: Rs.9046 crores.
· POSHAN Abhiyaan to address Malnutrition through Convergence, Use of Technology and a Targeted approach
Scheme for Providing Free LPG connections to Women from BPL Households launched by PM in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh on 1.5.2016 As on 6.5.2018, more than 3.78 crore new LPG connections given to them. Out of this, 30.5% and 13.3% connections issued to SC and ST categories respectively.
Scheme spread all over the country, now in 712 districts Target enhanced from 5 crore to 8 core LPG connections in four years during 2016-20). The scheme opened to all SC &ST households, beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Antyodaya Anna Yojana, forest dwellers, “most backward classes,” tea garden and ex-tea garden tribes, and people residing in islands or river islands
Funds allocated: Rs.12800 crores LPG Coverage: During 2016-17, more than 3.31 crore new LPG connections have been released and during 2017-18, more than 2.82 crore new LPG connections have been released. As on 1.3.2018, National LPG coverage has reached to 79.9% from 61 % as on 01.01.2016.
· The anganwadi centres in the villages to be upgraded and re-modeled as centres for empowerment of women in villages.
· Under MSK Scheme, the national and state level (State Resource Centre for Women) structures of erstwhile NMEW Scheme will continue.
· New District Level Centre for Women (DLCW) envisaged for 640 districts (to be covered in a phased manner) for facilitating women centric schemes of the government and for giving a foothold to BBBP scheme. During FY 2017-18, 220 DLCWs envisaged and Block Level initiatives under Mahila Shakti Kendra proposed for 50 most backward districts.
· An amount of Rs. 49.57 crore released to the State Govt. /UT Adm. for implementing Mahila Shakti Kendra during FY 2017-18.
· To enable an online digital marketing platform for women entrepreneurs, SHGs and NGOs and provide them direct access to markets to sell their products.
· Women entrepreneurs/SHGs/NGOs from 24 states are showcasing over 2000 products/services across 18 categories.
· 26000 Self Help Groups and 4.75 lakh women benefitted · Registered women have already managed to sell goods worth Rs 30 lakhs
· To enable working women to get at least six months of paid leave so that they can provide proper care to the child
· Maternity Benefit Act has come into force from April 01, 2017 to extend period of mandatory paid maternity leave for working women to 26 weeks (~6 months).
· Empowers working women as they need not fear loss of salary or job due to childbirth and now also have time to recuperate and breastfeed their child.
· Initially confined to 53 districts . PM in his New year eve speech in 2017 announced its expansion to all 640 districts across the country.
· Partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentive to the pregnant &/lactating mother so that she can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first child.
· It is expected that approximately 51.70 lakhs beneficiaries per annum would benefit from the scheme.
· More than 22 lakh beneficiaries under PMVVY.(As on 6.4.2018) · PMMVY is a DBT compliant scheme and maternity benefits are directly transferred to the bank/post office account of the beneficiary.
· To provide assured , comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, to all pregnant women on 9th of every month.
· More than 1.16 crore antenatal check-ups conducted. · Conducted at over 12900 health facilities across all State/UTs
· Over 4900 volunteers registered on PMSMA portal across all State/UTs · More than 6 lakh high risk pregnancies have been identified.
· Launched by Prime Minister in April, 2016 · Aims to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST women · Banks have sanctioned 54,733 loans to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Women borrowers as on 28.02.2018.
· Launched in March 2015 , the centres provide under one roof medical, police, legal help and psychosocial counselling to women affected by violence.
· 170 centres already established and functional by end of March 2018. One centre per district will be established by the end of 2018-19
· In the last one year , 105 new One Stop Centres (OSCs) have become operational in addition to previous 55 OSCs. Such centres have offered support to over 97,000 women.
· They offer a single window to a range of services including access to police, medical, legal and psychological support and temporary shelter in 33 States/UTs. A further 150 OSCs are planned to be set up by 2020.
· Orders issued for all Cell Phones to have physical panic buttons for women in distress to alert the police as well as family members
· To provide universal helpline for women who need assistance of any kind.
· It has been decided to provide Universal Helpline to all states · Funds sanctioned to 33 states over last two years · 29 states have already set up the facility
· To enable widows who do not have family support to lead a life of dignity
· Construction of Largest ever Government funded home for 1000 widows at Vrindavan. · More such homes to be set up in other cities
· Swadhar Greh Scheme targets the women victims of difficult circumstances and envisages providing shelter, food, clothing and health as well as economic and social security for these women.
· At present total 559 Swadhar Greh are functioning in the country benefiting 17231 beneficiaries.
· Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 operationalized
· Operating guidelines and training manuals issued
· She-Box for online filing of complaints launched
· Training of heads of Internal Complaint Committees of all central government ministries/ departments conducted.
Training of Elected Women Representatives of Panchayats · Approximately 20,000 Elected Women Representatives of Panchayats are being trained across the country to ensure better village governance and administration. The training program has been launched in 2017.
Highlights: The new WHO Guidelines on Sanitation and Health summarize the evidence on the effectiveness of a range of sanitation interventions and provide a comprehensive framework for health-protecting sanitation, covering policy and governance measures, implementation of sanitation technologies, systems and behavioural interventions, risk-based management, and monitoring approaches.
Critically , the guidelines articulate the role of the health sector in maximizing the health impact of sanitation interventions. The guidelines also identify gaps in the evidence-base to guide future research efforts to improve the effectiveness of sanitation interventions.
Need for global guidelines on sanitation and health: Worldwide, 2.3 billion people lack basic sanitation (with almost half forced to defecate in the open). They are among the 4.5 billion without access to safely managed sanitation services – in other words a toilet connected to a sewer or pit or septic tank that treats human waste. Without proper access, millions of people the world over are deprived of the dignity, safety and convenience of a decent toilet.
Sanitation is a fundamental foundation of human health and development and underpins the core mission of WHO and ministries of health worldwide. WHO’s Sanitation and Health Guidelines are essential to securing health and wellbeing for everyone, everywhere.
Significance of the guidelines: Poor sanitation is a major factor in transmission of neglected tropical diseases. Billions of people live without access to even the most basic sanitation services.
WHO developed the new guidelines on sanitation and health because current sanitation programmes are not achieving anticipated health gains and there is a lack of authoritative health-based guidance on sanitation.
By adopting WHO’s new guidelines , countries can significantly reduce the diarrhoeal deaths due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. For every US $1 invested in sanitation, WHO estimates a nearly six-fold return as measured by lower health costs, increased productivity and fewer premature deaths.
UNESCO site status The sites chosen are- Lonar Lake in Maharashtra and St. Mary’s Island and Malpe beach in coastal Karnataka are the GSI’s candidates for UNESCO Global Geopark Network status.
Global Geopark: UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.
Their bottom-up approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities is becoming increasingly popular. At present, there are 140 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 38 countries.
An aspiring Global Geopark must have a dedicated website, a corporate identity, comprehensive management plan, protection plans, finance, and partnerships for it to be accepted.
Once a UNESCO Global Geopark, always a UNESCO Global Geopark? No, a UNESCO Global Geopark is given this designation for a period of four years after which the functioning and quality of each UNESCO Global Geopark is thoroughly re-examined during a revalidation process.
As part of the revalidation process, the UNESCO Global Geopark under review has to prepare a progress report and a field mission will be undertaken by two evaluators to revalidate the quality of the UNESCO Global Geopark. If, on the basis of the field evaluation report, the UNESCO Global Geopark continues to fulfil the criteria the area will continue as a UNESCO Global Geopark for a further four-year period (so-called “green card”).
If the area no longer fulfils the criteria, the management body will be informed to take appropriate steps within a two-year period (so-called “yellow card”). Should the UNESCO Global Geopark not fulfil the criteria within two years after receiving a “yellow card”, the area will lose its status as a UNESCO Global Geopark (so-called “red card”).
What is the Global Geoparks Network? The Global Geoparks Network (GGN), of which membership is obligatory for UNESCO Global Geoparks, is a legally constituted not-for-profit organisation with an annual membership fee. The GGN was founded in 2004 and is a dynamic network where members are committed to work together and exchange ideas of best practise and join in common projects to raise the quality standards of all products and practises of a UNESCO Global Geopark. While the GGN as a whole comes together every two years, it functions through the operation of regional networks, such as the European Geoparks Network that meets twice a year to develop and promote joint activities.
Difference between UNESCO Global Geoparks, Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites: UNESCO Global Geoparks, together with the other two UNESCO site designations Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites, give a complete picture of celebrating our heritage while at the same time conserving the world’s cultural, biological and geological diversity, and promoting sustainable economic development.
While Biosphere Reserves focus on the harmonised management of biological and cultural diversity and World Heritage Sites promote the conservation of natural and cultural sites of outstanding universal value, UNESCO Global Geoparks give international recognition for sites that promote the importance and significance of protecting the Earth’s geodiversity through actively engaging with the local communities.
In case an aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark includes a World Heritage Site or Biosphere Reserve, a clear justification and evidence has to be provided on how UNESCO Global Geopark status will add value by being both independently branded and in synergy with the other designations.
Key facts: Lonar lake is an ancient circular lake created by a meteorite strike in Maharashtra. It is the only known meteorite crater in basaltic rock. Lonar crater became a geo-heritage site in 1979. It is relatively young geologically, at just 50,000 years old.
Mary’s Island, declared a national geo-heritage site in 1975, is estimated to be an 88-million-year-old formation that goes back to a time when Greater India broke away from Madagascar.
About ISA: The Paris Declaration establishes ISA as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.
Objectives: The ISA’s major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.
What it does? As an action-oriented organisation, the ISA brings together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate global demand, thereby reducing prices through bulk purchase, facilitating the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale, and promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity building.
When it entered into force? When the ISA Framework Agreement entered into force on December 6th, 2017, ISA formally became a de-jure treaty based International Intergovernmental Organization, headquartered at Gurugram, India.
About IORA: The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
The IORA is an association of 21 countries and 7 dialogue partners which have identified 6 areas of cooperation including medicinal plants. The Coordinating Secretariat of IORA is located at Ebene, Mauritius.
How was it developed? The experts used the ‘Variable Infiltration Capacity’ model to provide the soil moisture prediction.
The product, termed ‘Experimental Forecasts Land Surface Products’, is available on the IMD website. It has been developed using the hydrological model that takes into consideration soil, vegetation, land use and land cover among other parameters.
Highlights of the findings: In Bundelkhand, most farmers keep their land fallow or just grow some fodder crop during the kharif season since the rains are unpredictable and there could be extended dry spells after sowing. They then mainly cultivate the rabi crop using the soil moisture left behind by the monsoon rains.
It is a similar trend in Bihar, in low lying areas of Seemanchal and Kosi belt, where no crop is grown during Kharif because of inundated lands. This means that if there is not enough rainfall in one or two months, these are regions which will demand heavy irrigation whether that comes from groundwater or surface water storage (reservoirs).
Based on observed conditions at present, Gujarat, parts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh are deficient in terms of soil moisture right now.
Significance and the need for data on soil moisture: Soil moisture is crucial for agriculture since it directly affects crop growth and how much irrigation is required for the area. It is because crucial information needed for agriculture is not revealed only through rainfall data.
Soil moisture gives us more information on what is needed for crop growth in different parts of the country. Besides, timely soil moisture forecasts will help target interventions, in terms of seed varieties for better planning in agriculture.
Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 52.2 in September from 51.7 in August. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion while one below 50 denotes a contraction.
What is a PMI? PMI or a Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is an indicator of business activity — both in the manufacturing and services sectors. It is a survey-based measures that asks the respondents about changes in their perception of some key business variables from the month before. It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is constructed.
How is the PMI derived? The PMI is derived from a series of qualitative questions. Executives from a reasonably big sample, running into hundreds of firms, are asked whether key indicators such as output, new orders, business expectations and employment were stronger than the month before and are asked to rate them.
How does one read the PMI? A figure above 50 denotes expansion in business activity. Anything below 50 denotes contraction. Higher the difference from this mid-point greater the expansion or contraction. The rate of expansion can also be judged by comparing the PMI with that of the previous month data. If the figure is higher than the previous month’s then the econ-omy is expanding at a faster rate. If it is lower than the previous month then it is growing at a lower rate.
What are its implications for the economy? The PMI is usually released at the start of the month, much before most of the official data on industrial output, manufacturing and GDP growth becomes available. It is, therefore, considered a good leading indicator of economic activity. Economists consider the manufacturing growth measured by the PMI as a good indicator of industrial output, for which official statistics are released later. Central banks of many countries also use the index to help make decisions on interest rates.
What does it mean for financial markets? The PMI also gives an indication of corporate earnings and is closely watched by investors as well as the bond markets. A good reading enhances the attractiveness of an economy vis-a- vis another competing economy.
Background: Till date, commodity derivatives contract are available only on MCX and NCDEX, the two specialised commodity derivatives exchanges in the country. The launch of commodity derivatives platform on the BSE will help in efficient price discovery, reduce timeline and make it cost-effective.
Definition: A derivative is a contract between two parties which derives its value/price from an underlying asset. The most common types of derivatives are futures, options, forwards and swaps.
Description: It is a financial instrument which derives its value/price from the underlying assets. Originally, underlying corpus is first created which can consist of one security or a combination of different securities. The value of the underlying asset is bound to change as the value of the underlying assets keep changing continuously. Generally stocks, bonds, currency, commodities and interest rates form the underlying asset.
The world’s largest dome has been inaugurated at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT)’s World Peace University (MIT-WPU) campus at Loni Kalbhor on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The World Peace Monument dome has a diameter of 160 feet, compared with the Vatican Dome’s 139.6 feet, and stands 263 feet tall with a bell hanging from the centre, and the prayer hall is of around 30,000 sq ft.
It is supported by 24 massive columns, each 63 feet tall, at the periphery of the dome and underneath — inside and outside — stand imposing bronze statues of 54 of the biggest names in world history stand, irrespective of nationality or religion.
The dome is built atop the MIT World Peace Library and the World Peace Prayer Hall, which are named after the 13th century poet-saint and philosopher Dnyaneshwar — a pivotal figure of the Bhakti movement in Maharashtra.