Maternal Mortality Ratio, MMR, of India has declined by
eight points in one year as per the latest special bulletin on MMR released
by the Registrar General of India.
This was informed by Union Minister for Health and Family
Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan today in New Delhi. The Minister said, this decline is
important as it translates to over 2,000 more pregnant women saved annually.
He added that the MMR has declined from 130 per lakh live births
in 2014-16 to 122 per lakh live births in 2015-17 which is a decline of 6.2 per
The Minister said, with this persistent decline, India is on
track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) set for reducing the
MMR by 2025 which is five years ahead of the fixed time-line of 2030.
Dr.Vardhan stated that achievement is the result of significant
gains made in institutional deliveries and focused approach towards high
priority districts to reach the most marginalized and vulnerable sections of the
He further said, focus on quality health services provided
through National Health Mission such as PradhanMantriSurakshitMatritvaAbhiyan,
JananiShishuSurakshaKaryakram and JananiSurakshaYojana have contributed to this
Indian retail inflation probably exceeded the Reserve Bank
of India's ( RBI) medium-term target of 4% in October for the first time in
15 months, mainly because of rising vegetable prices, a Reuters poll of
Prices of most vegetables climbed during the month as monsoon
downpours delayed harvests and disrupted supplies. That was despite a government
ban on onion exports, a key component in the Indian diet.
The RBI has cut its key interest rate by a cumulative 135 basis
points this year to 5.15%. The central bank is expected to cut the repo rate in
December for the sixth meeting in a row, according to a separate Reuters poll.
That view primarily stems from a slowing economy.
Despite easy monetary and fiscal policy, recent business surveys
indicate the economy, which slowed to a six-year low of 5% growth during the
second quarter, is still struggling and is not expected to recover anytime soon.
If those forecasts are realised, it will be the first time since
October 2016 the RBI has cut rates even though inflation is above the central
bank's medium-term target.
The wholesale price index probably remained flat last month, the
lowest in nearly three and a half years. The WPI was the preferred gauge for the
RBI before the consumer price index was introduced on early 2012.
India, which is currently witnessing a spike in retail onion
price up to Rs 100/kg on tight supply, should explore low-cost modern
technology models from countries like Israel and Brazil for storing the
commodity, industry body Ficci said on Friday.
The government's Tomato Onion Potato (TOP) scheme announced in
the 2018-19 Budget was expected to address the problem of surplus in producing
areas, but the scheme has not taken off, it said, adding that the government
should provide railway rakes for reducing transportation cost.
For ensuring cost-effective storage of onions, Ficci said the
emphasis should be laid on building low-cost farm gate storage.
In Brazil, for the procurement and storage of onions, low-cost
ventilated silos system is being used at farm level. They also use refrigerated
storage rooms which is the most efficient system, it said.
In India, startups such as InficoldInc are using multi-commodity
efficient farm level cooling systems for perishables. Low-cost thatched bamboo
storage have been promoted by the government under the Mission for Integrated
Development of Horticulture. "However, we need better technology to reduce
losses during monsoon," it said.
Among other solutions, Ficci said the government should
undertake special campaign to promote processed onion and increase investment in
producing dehydrated variety of onions which has a long shelf life and has
The Union Ministry of Science and Technology is currently
working on three missions of quantum technology, methanol and electric
mobility at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore each and expects government approval
for it in the next three months, a senior official has said.
The Science and Technology Department, in partnership with the
Ministry of Railways, has rolled out aRs 700 crore 'Railway Technology Mission'
with a focus on driving new technologies of monitoring, design, materials.
The mission is aimed at finding solution to fog vision, carrying
capacity of wagons and other areas, the official said.
Speaking on the 'Vajra' (Visiting Advanced Joint Research)
scheme to invite overseas scientists and academicians with emphasis on
non-resident Indians to work as adjunct or visiting faculty for a specific
period in the country's academic and research institutions, he said, "About 500
scientists from abroad have so far applied and we have selected about 60
He further said, "We want top scientists to spend time here and
impart their knowledge to our students as co-guides. The programme has started
one and a half years ago," he said.