UNICEF report claims swachhbharat has helped reduce water
The Swachh Bharat initiative of the government has led to
reduced ground water contamination. A study by the UNICEF said the
substantial reductions may potentially be attributed to the improvement in
sanitation and hygiene practices.
It said, supportive systems such as regular monitoring and
behaviour change messaging, which have all been critical aspects of the Swachh
Bharat Mission (Grameen), also helped reduce ground water contamination.
While another study by Gates Foundation said that Swachh Bharat
leverages 23 thousand crore rupees for behaviour changThese studies were aimed
at assessing the environmental impact and communication footprint of the Swachh
Bharat Mission (Grameen).
Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said Swachhata
affects all aspects of the environment - be it groundwater, surface water, soil
or air - as well as health and well-being of the communities in ODF regions.
He praised the Swachh Bharat Mission for bringing a reduction in
ground water contamination. He said, the WHO 2018 study had estimated that the
Swachh Bharat Mission will save over three lakh lives by the time India is Open
Swachh Bharat Mission is in the final stretch of its completion
with 30 States and Union Territories already having declared themselves free
from open defecation. It is focusing on sustaining the gains of this progress
and to extend the momentum to the ODF-plus phase which includes solid and liquid
Government to consider reconstitution of cabinet committees
The Government has reconstituted eight Cabinet Committees.
These are Appointments Committee, Committees on Accommodation, Economic
Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs, Political Affairs, Security, Investment and
Growth and Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development.
Cabinet Secretariat said in a press release that the Cabinet
Committee on Security will have Prime Minister NarendraModi, Defence Minister
Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Minister of Finance and Corporate
Affairs NirmalaSitharaman and External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar.
Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has Prime Minister Modi
and Mr Shah. While Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth will have the
Prime Minister and Ministers of Home, Road Transport and Highways, Finance and
Corporate Affairs and Railways and Commerce and Industry.
Preparations for economic census underway
Preparations are underway for seventh Economic Census, (7th
EC) which is likely to commence by the end of June or the early next month.
In the inaugural session, workshop for State Level Training of Census
trainers for NCT of Delhi will be held today.
In the run-up to the field work to be undertaken by the
enumerators across the country, several activities have been planned by the
Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, MoSPI. Training of
trainers at the state level is an integral component of this massive exercise.
Economic Census is the complete count of all establishment
located within the geographical boundary of country. In the 7th EC, an IT based
digital platform for data capture, validation, report generation and
dissemination will be used. The results of the exercise will be made available
after verification and validation of the field work.
The 7th EC will cover all establishments including household
enterprises, engaged in production or distribution of goods or services in
non-farm agricultural and non-agricultural sector. The coverage is same as the
one in 6th Economic Census, conducted in 2013.
Indian microfinance sector attains almost 30% growth
The Indian microfinance sector is expected to register a
more than 30% year-on-year growth to Rs. 90,000 crore in 2018-19, according
to industry body Sa-Dhan.
The total gross loan portfolio (GLP) for the sector stood at Rs.
68,789 crore in2017-18.
In a report released by the industry body, based on the data
collected from 128 microfinance institutions, the GLP had already touched Rs.
75,476 crore. However, this would rise to more than Rs. 90,000 crore by the time
the consolidated industry figures come out.
The report also pointed out that Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar
Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were the top seven
States in terms of loan portfolio.
P. Satish, executive director, Sa-Dhan, said “Trends of the
microfinance industry for last quarter of the financial year 2018-19 are very
encouraging. We have consolidated reports of 128 MFIs which reveal a 14% rise in
loan portfolio and 9% increase in client outreach over Q3.”
Sa-Dhan estimated the average loan ticket size for the sector at
Rs. 34,010 against Rs. 29,902 in the previous year. The average of only
NBFC-MFIs this year is Rs. 27,661.
Xi Jinping arrives in Moscow for bilateral talks with Putin
Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Moscow for a
state visit to Russia and the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic
Xi will have talks in the Kremlin with President Vladimir Putin
before attending a formal reception.
The visit comes five years after Moscow's annexation of Crimea
in 2014 led to a serious rift with its Western partners and subsequent turn
toward its neighbour to the east.
The three-day visit to Russia marks a new era of friendship and
reinforce economic ties that had benefited from Moscow's isolation from the
From Moscow, Xi will travel to Russia's former imperial capital
Saint Petersburg to attend the Economic Forum hosted by Putin on Thursday and
The partnership is yielding rising trade, which has increased by
25 percent in 2018 to hit a record 108 billion dollars. During an interview with
Russian media ahead of the visit, Xi said that China is Russia's most important
economic partner. He also said that both countries would also discuss their
relationship with the great Western powers, including the United States.
Martin Vizcarra wins confidence vote in Peru
In Peru, President Martin Vizcarra won a confidence vote in
the country’s Congress yesterday, reviving debate over his flagging effort
to pass anti-corruption measures.
President Vizcarra, who succeeded disgraced ex-president Pedro
Pablo Kuczynski a year ago won by 77 votes to 44 with three abstentions.
Vizcarra had threatened to dissolve parliament and force new
elections unless lawmakers backed his anti-graft proposals.
Kuczynski stepped down last year following allegations of
bribe-taking as part of the continent-wide Odebrecht corruption scandal that has
embroiled three other Peruvian former presidents.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Government plans to form a permanent research centre to study
olive ridley turtles
A proposal has been made to establish a permanent research
centre near the Rushikulya rookery on the Odisha coast to study the mass
nesting of Olive Ridleys and the environmental factors related to it.
The research centre is expected to be established at a cost of
more than Rs. 9 crore. The Forest Department is planning to have it in the
Khallikote forest range, which is near the Rushikulya rookery.
The centre would be involved in a detailed study of the habits
and the habitat of the turtles and the coastal flora and fauna.
As per the plans, it would have a museum for the general public
where skeletons and eggs of different marine turtles would be displayed. It
would also include models and interactive displays.
A scientist of Wildlife Institute of India BivashPandav
considered to be the first wildlife researcher and documenter of the mass
nesting at the rookery said the centre should start functioning as early as
possible. He said it would make the Odias realise that since generations the
local fishermen had been protecting the now endangered marine turtles.
India wins against south Africa to start ICC worldcup campaign
In the ICC Cricket World Cup, India began its campaign with
a victory. Men in blue defeated South Africa by 6 wickets in their opening
match at Southampton in England last night.
India achieved the target of 228 runs, with 15 balls to spare.
Opener Rohit Sharma hit a blistering unbeaten 122 while Mahendra Singh Dhoni
contributed important 34 runs. Rohit was adjudged man of the match.