SBM to evaluate solid waste management
in rural India
The Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBMG) of Ministry of Drinking Water
and Sanitation, held a National Workshop on Solid and Liquid Waste
Management (SLWM).The workshop was attended by District Collectors, CEOs,
CDOs, Executive Engineers and other officers, from across the country.
Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and
Sanitation, reiterated the SBMG's continued commitment to SLWM and shared an
overview of the various ongoing initiatives of the Ministry.
He said that the Mission is on track to deliver an Open Defecation Free
India well before the set deadline of October 2019 and is focusing
increasing on sustaining the ODF outcomes and ODFplus activities
The workshop emphasized the importance of Fecal Sludge Management (FSM)
for rural census towns and large dense villages and Galvanizing Organic
Bio-Agro Resource–dhan (GOBAR-DHAN) in rural areas. It also covered Plastic
Waste Management, Grey Water Management and featured case studies from
across the country.
The experts on FSM shared various technological and operational models,
specific to different geographic terrains and climatic conditions.
Innovative Solid Waste Management initiatives from across the country were
shared by the States. This included transforming waste into construction
bricks and fuel during the harsh winters in Leh district in Jammu and
Kerala showcased the “Green Protocol” being implemented in
Thiruvananthapuram district using the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) to
minimize waste generation. Rajgarh district from Madhya Pradesh presented
the experience of successfully implementing the GOBAR-DHAN project.
Centre hooked by opposition for
nonpublishing of NSSO report on unemployment
The government’s think tank NITI Aayog on Thursday debunked claims of a
news report that unemployment in 2017-18 was at a 45-year high. The NITI
Aayog said the report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), cited as
the source for the report, was in fact a draft and not approved by the
A report in the Business Standard on Thursday, which cited the NSSO’s
periodic labour force survey that is yet to be released said the
unemployment rate was 6.1% in 2017-18. The only year of comparable data when
the unemployment rate was higher was in 1972-73. It was at 2.2% in 2011-12.
The NSSO report is a matter of much controversy, with the two external
members of the National Statistical Commission citing the delay in its
release as a major reason for their resignations on Monday.
The data reportedly showed that joblessness was higher in urban India
(7.8%) than in rural India (5.3%). Within this, it stood at 17.4% for rural
males and 13.6% for rural females. In urban India, joblessness was at 18.7%
among males and a huge 27.2% among females.
The government’s decision to discontinue the NSSO’s five year surveys,
failure to regularly release Labour Bureau data and delay in releasing the
NSSO’s periodic labour force survey had led to an atmosphere of uncertainty
Instead, the government kept citing job numbers based on EPFO’s payroll
data and the Mudra loans, which are not helpful,the report said.
RBI allows banks to exit PCA framework
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to allow three public sector
banks — Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce to
exit the PCA framework following capital infusion by the government and a
decline in net nonperforming asset ratio.
The RBI, which conducted a review following a demand made by government
to lift the restrictions in order to boost credit growth, said, “it was
noted that a few banks are not in breach of the PCA (Prompt Corrective
Action) parameters as per their published results for the quarter ending
December 2018, except for return on assets (RoA).”
Bank of India had made significant higher provisioning during the third
quarter which saw net NPA ratio declining to 5.87% from 10.29% a year ago.
Similarly, Bank of Maharashtra brought down its net NPA ratio to 5.91% from
12.17%. Both the banks reported heavy losses in the third quarter.
OBC, which had made Rs. 145 crore net profit in the third quarter,
reported net NPA ratio of 7.15% at the end of the OctoberDecember quarter.
RBI justified its action by saying “though the net NPA ratio was 7.15%,
as per the published results of third quarter, the government has since
infused sufficient capital and bank has brought the net NPA ratio to
less than 6%.
Hence, it has been decided to remove the restrictions placed on Oriental
Bank of Commerce under PCA framework subject to certain conditions and close
monitoring,” the RBI said.
Health sector demands tax breaks from
centre in interim budget
The healthcare sector wants the government’s interim Budget to include
tax measures to help the middle class better mitigate health risks.
“Ayushman Bharat for the financially weaker section took centre stage in
healthcare last year; however, the middle class is still at risk!,” said
Suneeta Reddy, managing director, Apollo Hospitals Group.
An enhancement in the medical allowance for salaried employees in line
with inflation and a separate deduction in respect of preventive health
checks would be desirable,’’ she said, speaking about the sector’s
expectations from the Budget.
“We look forward to zero-rating of GST for the sector, or for
normalisation of the GST rates for services consumed by the healthcare
service providers at 5%,’’ Ms. Reddy added.
“We expect a reduction in the cost of medical equipment that will help
in increasing the outreach of telemedicine and home healthcare facilities,”
said Ashutosh Tiwari, director and chairman, Vinoba Bhave Research
The last year had been a challenging one for India’s private healthcare
providers, with multiple headwinds impacting growth and profitability. The
overall sector had become less attractive for investments, the absence of
which had hindered growth significantly, asserted Arindam Haldar, CEO, SRL
However, given that more than two-thirds of the sector was driven by
private operators, the government had to increase its willingness to partner
with the private sector players, according to Mr.Haldar.
India asks Pakistan not to interfere in
India today asked Pakistan not to interfere in India’s internal affairs.
Reacting to the telephonic conversation between Pakistan Foreign Minister
Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, External Affairs
Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, the behaviour of Pakistani Foreign
Minister is condemnable.
Mr Kumar said, it is high time for Pakistan to take action against
terrorism, but unfortunately, the neighbouring country is doing nothing.
Asked about recent developments in Afghanistan regarding the
reconciliation process, the spokesperson said, India is following the
He said India wants peace and stability in that country. He said peace
and reconciliation process in that country should be Afghan-controlled,
Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
After summoning the Pakistan High Commissioner on Wednesday, India has
registered its protest with the British government about an upcoming meet on
Kashmir at the British Parliament, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
India has raised the issue of “anti-India” groups within the U.K. often
in the past few months. In August, the British government turned down an
Indian request to cancel a pro-Khalistan rally in London.