India aims to completely eradicate AIDS
Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said the
government is making all out efforts to completely eradicate HIV AIDS in the
country before 2030.
He said, India has successfully eliminated polio well before the target
eight years-ago. The Minister was speaking at a function to observe the
World HIV AIDS day in New Delhi today. He also said, attempts should be made
to make the country free from TB before 2025.
He said, 18 ministries are working for the elimination of various
diseases. Stating that voluntary blood donation is the best tribute to
humanity, the Minister asked the people to donate blood saying that regular
blood donation can prevent heart diseases. 'Communities make the difference'
is the theme of this year's World HIV AIDS day.
As per the latest estimate of 2017, there are around 21 lakh 40 thousand
people living with HIV in the country. The government is implementing the
National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) as a hundred per cent Central Sector
Scheme for prevention and control of AIDS.
NACP response to HIV epidemic comprise a comprehensive three-pronged
strategy of prevention, testing and treatment.The Government has also
developed a seven-year National Strategic Plan from 2017 to 2024 to achieve
the Sustainable Development Goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by
BSF brings in new technology to guard Indo-Pak border
Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai today said the
Government is committed to equipping the forces with the latest equipment
and technology. He was addressing the 55th Raising Day event of the force at
a BSF camp in New Delhi today.
Mr.Rai said that citizens of India feel safe because of the BSF jawans'
promptness on the world's most sensitive international borders. He further
said that efforts are being made to infiltrate and smuggle, by the country's
enemies, but BSF jawans are thwarting the attempts with their promptness.
Speaking at the function, BSF, Director General, V K Johri, said the BSF
is working on technological solutions to combat the threat of drones along
the India-Pakistan International Border.
Mr.Johari also said that force has expanded its strategic capabilities
by using new technology and intelligence to guard the over 6,386 km long
borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
He said, the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and the International
Border along Punjab have become operationally sensitive in recent times. He
added that anti-India forces are continuously trying to infiltrate across
the border, and the BSF is at all times to thwart these bids.
AIR correspondent reports that the BSF is primarily tasked with guarding
the India and Pakistan borders, apart from rendering a variety of roles in
Centre to bring out permanent solution
to curb stubble burning
The Centre is formulating a scheme to find a permanent solution to the
practice stubble burning by farmers and has constituted a committee to come
out with a report on the matter in a month or two, Minister of State for
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare ParshottamRupala said in RajyaSabha.
The MoS said that the new committee will come out with a new scheme
within one or two months.He said in some states farmers burn stubble for
sowing the next crop and the government is planning to educate them about
diversification of crops.
Besides, the government has given machines worth Rs 1,151 crore to
farmers for managing stubble besides creating awareness.A total of 55,000
machines were provided to three states, he said, and added that Delhi is not
managing it well.
The Minister said that paddy stubble burning is mainly practised in the
Indo-Gangetic plains in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to clear the
fields for rabi crop sowing.
Apart from the loss of nutrients, some soil nutrients, some soil
properties like soil temperature, pH, moisture, available phosphorus and
soil organic matter, which also govern microbial population of soil, are
greatly affected due to stubble burning, he said.
Global companies agree to shift base from China to India
Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman on Saturday said about 12 global
companies have evinced interest to shift their base from China to India,
taking advantage of the competitive tax rate of 15 per cent announced
In a biggest reduction in 28 years, the government in September reduced
corporate tax rate by almost 10 percentage points in a bid to give a boost
to the sagging economy.
Base corporate tax for existing companies has been reduced to 22 percent
from 30 per cent, and for new manufacturing firms incorporated after October
1, 2019 and starting operation before March 31, 2023, it was slashed to 15
per cent from 25 per cent.
The finance ministry in September set up a task force headed by Economic
Affairs Secretary to prepare a road map for the "national infrastructure
pipeline" from 2019-20 to 2024-25 under aRs 100 lakh crore infra plan. The
task force expected to cover greenfield and brownfield projects costing
above Rs 100 crore each.
As regards the rationalisation of the taxation, she said, "We are having
a good conversation with all the states and want to make sure that those
essential items may be put to the lowest if not exempt, but for the rest of
them, we are trying to rationalize".
India-Japan expand cooperation,condemn
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S.
Jaishankar met Japan's Minister of Defence Kono Taro and Foreign Affairs
Minister MotegiToshimitsu for the first India-Japan 22 Foreign and Defence
Ministerial Meeting in New Delhi on Saturday. In a joint statement, the
ministers affirmed that the dialogue will further enhance the strategic
depth of bilateral security and defence cooperation.
They condemned in the strongest terms the growing threat of terrorism,
and acknowledged that it constituted a major threat to peace and security in
the region. The Ministers called upon all countries to take resolute action
in rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure.
They underlined the need for all countries to ensure that all territory
under their control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other
countries in any manner.
They noted in this context the threat posed to regional security by
terrorist networks operating out of Pakistan and called upon it to take
resolute and irreversible action against them and fully comply with
international commitments including to FATF.
Acknowledging emerging security challenges, the Ministers reiterated
their commitment to advancing bilateral security cooperation based on the
2008 Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation and the 2009 Action Plan to
advance Security Cooperation.
Iraqi protesters set fire to the entrance of a shrine in the southern
holy city of Najaf today and security forces fired tear gas to disperse
The incident took place during one of the bloodiest weeks of Iraq’s
anti-government unrest, which erupted last month.
Meanwhile, Iraqi legislators have approved Prime Minister Adel Abdul
Mahdi's resignation during a parliament session held in capital Baghdad. On
Friday, an embattled Abdul Mahdi formally submitted his offer to step down
following the killing of around 50 demonstrators by the security forces in
Baghdad and Iraq's mainly Shia southern cities of Nazriya and Najaf.
Referring to Article 76 of the country's constitution, Speaker Mohammad
al-Halbusi today said President Barham Salih will now ask the largest
political bloc in parliament to nominate the next prime minister.
India- Srilanka joint military exercise to begin at Pune
The seventh edition of exercise MITRA SHAKTI aimed at enhancing
interoperability and operational efficiency amongst the armies of India and
Sri Lanka commenced today at Aundh Military Station, Pune.
Defence Ministry said, the objective of the exercise is to build and
promote positive relations between armies of both the countries through
focus on sub unit level training on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism
operations in urban and rural environment.
The joint training exercise also signifies the strength of India-Sri
Lanka relations in the field of military cooperation and engagement.
The exercise is designed for incorporating the current dynamics of
United Nations peacekeeping operations through practical and comprehensive
discussions and tactical exercises.
South Asian games begin at Kathmandu
13th South Asian Games have formally begun in Kathmandu, the
capital of Nepal.
President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari declared games open in a
glittering ceremony at DasarathaRangshala in Kathmandu this evening.
Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Chairman of National Assembly Ganesh
Timilsina, Deputy Prime Minister IshworPokharel, Ministers from South Asian
countries and a large number of other dignitaries also graced the opening
ceremony. Over 2700 athletes from seven South Asian Countries participated
in the march past.
During the 10 days biggest sporting event of South Asia, 2715 athletes
compete for 1119 medals including 319 Gold in 26 game categories. India is
represented by 487 athletes. The closing ceremony will be held on 10th
Parliament to discuss on crimes against
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the government is ready
for a discussion in LokSabha on the issue of crime against women and willing
to explore stringent provisions in laws to check incidents like the
Hyderabad rape and murder case.
Responding to a discussion during Zero Hour in the wake of the rape and
murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad, Singh said he was falling short of
words to condemn the heinous crime.
As soon as the House met for the day, Speaker Om Birla said he would
allow members to raise the "serious issue" in Zero Hour.
Uttam Kumar Reddy (Cong) raised the issue of the rape and murder of the
26-year-old veterinarian and slammed the Telangana Home Minister for his
purported "insensitive" remarks.
He also slammed the state police for initially delaying to lodge a
case.T R Baalu (DMK) raised the issue of sexual assault of a school girl in
Coimbatore.Saugat Roy (TMC) said rape convicts should be hanged.
PinakiMisra (BJD) questioned the delay in executing the death sentence
awarded to convicts in the "Nirbhaya" gang-rape case.He said laws and
establishment on fast track courts will not make a differences till the time
the death sentences are not executed.
On November 29, four men, aged between 20 and 24, were arrested on
charges of raping and killing the young woman veterinarian in Hyderabad
Nationwide vaccination to be conducted under Mission Indradhanush 2.0
Centre is launching a nationwide vaccination drive to prevent eight
diseases under Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 across the country
The government's flagship scheme is aimed at immunizing children under
the age of 2 years and pregnant women against eight vaccine preventable
The IMI covers vaccines for diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus,
poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, measles, meningitis and Hepatitis B. Vaccines
for Japanese encephalitis and haemophilus influenzae are also being provided
in selected areas.
The IMI 2.0 aims to achieve targets of full immunization coverage in 272
districts spread over 27 States. The IMI 2.0 will be carried out between
December 2019 and March 2020.
The campaign will be carried out in 260 development blocks of 43
districts of the state including the capital Bhopal and Indore. In addition
, the mission will be running in four-phases in the state. Children will be
vaccinated under the National Mission Indradhanush in the months of January
, February and March next year.
Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Tulsiram inaugurated this
campaign in Indore district. The Project Officers of the District Urban
Development Agency has been made the nodal officer for the successful
operation of the mission.
Steel imports have increased over a
period of 5 years claims govt.
Government today said the import of steel has increased during the last
Replying to questions in the LokSabha, Steel Minister DharmendraPradhan,
however, said domestic production has consistently increased regardless of
such imports. Mr Pradhan said, in the current year, the country is a net
He said, to counter import of cheap steel, anti-dumping duties have been
imposed on various grades of steel which were dumped into the country.
Mr Pradhan further said, import of steel grades which are not
manufactured in adequate quantities in the country is essential for
supporting the manufacturing sector.
The Minister informed the House that the total number of steel plants in
the country is 977. He said, work is currently going on in NMDC steel plant
in Nagarnar, Chattisgarh, which is a Greenfield project.
In reply to another question, the Minister said, the production of iron
ore in the country is sufficient to meet the current demand by the domestic
steel industry. Mr Pradhan said, the supply of iron ore during last year
2018-19 was 207 metric tonne against its demand of 189 metric tonne.
Centre plans listing of single-use plastics
The Centre is likely to identify as many as eight articles as
‘single-use plastic’ items that will be discontinued on a priority basis,
including plastic cutlery, plastic bags and certain Styrofoam items.
Defining single-use plastic is the first step in the direction of doing
away with such products in India by 2022, as called for by Prime Minister
NarendraModi during his Independence Day address.
While many states have banned plastic, there are wide variations in
implementation and the range of products covered.After consulting
stakeholders, the environment ministry is close to announcing a clear and
uniform definition of single-use plastic.
The idea is to completely phase out single-use plastic where it is
replaceable with environment friendly alternatives and to bring in a robust
segregation, collection and disposal mechanism for single-use plastic.
The ministry wrote to the states in September asking them to curb
production of plastic bags, irrespective of thickness and size, and
Styrofoam (thermocol) cutlery and to encourage manufacturers and consumers
to shift to other environmentally friendly material.
Every village will be asked to start waste segregation. They will send
plastic waste to block-level units that will convert the aggregated waste
into bales, shred them and transport them to aggregators for recycling to
build in a sustainable mechanism.