Thursday, June 27, 2013

UNCTAD Report on FDI in India

According to the World Investment Report 2013 released by UNCTAD placed India has retained its position as the world's third most attractive destination for investment by transnational corporations (TNCs) during 2013-15.  In the survey based on responses of 159 companies, India was ranked after China and United States.
Indonesia and Brazil are also among the top five investment destinations. As per the survey, developing countries make up four of the top five host economies. Six of the top 10 prospective host countries also come from the developing world, with Mexico and Thailand appearing for the first time.

However among developed economies, Japan jumped three positions largely because of reconstruction efforts after the 2011 Tsunami and recent expansionary monetary policies have together increased the country's attractiveness for foreign investment in the medium term.

At the same time, Australia, Russia and United Kingdom slipped down the rankings from last year's survey, while Germany gained two positions.

However the report stated that Global foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2013 is likely to remain close to the level of 2012 at about USD 1.45 trillion.

According to the report macroeconomic conditions will improve and investors will be able regain confidence in the medium term hence transnational corporations (TNCs) may convert their record levels of cash holdings into new investments.

Further, the report warned that factors such as structural weaknesses in the global financial system, the possible deterioration of the macroeconomic environment, and significant policy uncertainty in areas crucial for investor confidence might lead to a further decline in FDI inflows.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cabinet approves IWMP as a flagship programme

In order to make Centrally-sponsored programmes condensed, the Cabinet has approved Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) as a flagship programme of the government.


Around 60% of cultivated area across India is rain-fed. Besides, these areas are also blighted by poverty, water scarcity, low productivity, malnutrition and prone to severe land degradation. The watershed development programme has been adopted as a tool to address problems of the rain-fed or degraded areas in the country.

Key Points of IWMP:

Launched in 2009-10 by the integration of various area development programmes of the Department of Land Resources, including the Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP), the Desert Development Programme (DDP) and the Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP).

The 12th Plan allocates the programme an additional Rs. 29,296 crore.
Cost sharing ratio of Central Government : State Government = 90 : 10
9% of the project cost is earmarked for development of livelihoods for asset-less people
10% of the project cost is for productivity enhancement and development of micro-enterprises for small & marginal farmers.
An average size of project under the IWMP is about 5,000 ha which is cluster of micro-watersheds.
A portion of institution &capacity building (5% of the total project cost) has been provided to set up institutional mechanism at State, District, Project and Village levels and to build capacities of stakeholders.
It also entails involvement of primary stakeholders in the form of grassroots community organisations.
Expected Benefits of IWMP:

The benefits include increase in availability of surface water & groundwater, changes in cropping pattern from one to two crops annually, increase in fodder availability and increase in milk yield, increase in agriculture

What are Flagship Programmes:

Flagship programmes derive their origin from the term flagship which is the main or most important ship of a country’s navy and is symbolic of the main thrust of the nation’s developmental policy. Major Flagship programmes of the Government of India are:
Bharat Nirman: The objective of the Bharat Nirman Programme is to give top priority to rural infrastructure by setting time-bound goals under various schemes to develop rural housing, rural roads, irrigation, rural drinking water and rural electrification. The Programme imposes a responsibility on sub-national governments to create these facilities in a transparent and accountable manner.
National Rural Health Mission: The main aim of NRHM is to provide accessible, affordable, accountable, effective, and reliable primary health care, especially to poor and vulnerable sections of the population. The programme sets standards for rural health care and provides financial resources from the Union Government to meet these standards.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme: The Act was notified on 7 September 2005 and is aimed at providing livelihood security through employment for the rural poor.
Sarva Siksha Abhigyan: This programme was started with the objective of providing elementary education for all children in the age group of 6–14 years by 2010.
Mid-day meal Scheme: The MDM Scheme launched in 1995 aims to give a boost to universalization of primary education by increasing enrolment, retention, and attendance and
simultaneously impacting upon nutritional status of students in primary classes.
 Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

World s first 3D digital brain created

Scientists have developed the world's first high-resolution 3D digital model of the human brain. The reconstruction of the human brain shows it's anatomy in microscopic detail, enabling researchers to see features smaller than a strand of hair. 

The "Big Brain" will be made freely available to neuroscientists to help them in research, BBC News reported. Researchers sliced 7,400 sections from the brain of a deceased 65-year-old woman, each half the thickness of a human hair. 

They then stained each slice to bring out the anatomical detail and scan them into the computer in high definition. The final step was to reassemble the scanned slices inside the computer. In all, 80 billion neurons have been captured in this painstaking process which took 10 years to complete. It was "like using Google Earth. You can see details that are not visible before we had this 3D reconstruction," said Professor Katrin Amunts from the Julich Research Centre in Germany, one of the researchers involved. Professor Paul Fletcher, a psychiatrist at Cambridge University is scanning the brains of patients to learn more about eating disorders. He said Big Brain can help see details at the level at which brain computations take place.

Urban Andhra Pradesh has most jobless men

Unemployment in urban areas of Andhra Pradesh stands among the highest in the country and the highest amongst the more developed states of the country including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. 

Unemployment amongst urban males in AP stood at 4.1 per cent for the period July 2011 to June 2012, higher by far than its counterparts, while that among females in urban areas is about 6.6 per cent. Overall unemployment rate in urban areas in the state stands at 4.7 per cent. 

The National Sample Survey report released recently by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation says unemployment rate in urban areas at the national level stood at about 2.8 per cent.

The report considered those as employed who spent a substantial amount of the last 365 days in some monetary profit reaping work both in the unorganized as well as the organized sector. The report surveyed about 2,972 households in the urban parts of the state. 

AP bagged the dubious distinction of beating the other three southern states in unemployment. Urban unemployment in Karnataka stood at 3.1 per cent, while in Tamil Nadu, it was lesser at 2.3 per cent and in Kerala, it stood at 3.3 per cent.

The Hill Forts of Rajasthan inscribed on the World Heritage List

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO in its 37th Session has approved for inscribing 6 hill forts of Rajasthan on the World Heritage List.  The 6 forts are as follows:

The Hill Forts of Rajasthan represent Rajput military hill architecture, which are exceptional examples of centres of Rajput power and control, are reflections of courtly culture and patronage of arts and music, their mercantile business, etc. The structural remains/ruins range from 8th to 19th century A.D. and comprise multi-gated approaches through massive and high fortification walls, palaces, temples, memorials and water reservoirs.  The extensive fortifications – up to 20 kilometres in circumference – exploit the contours of the hills, and specifically the river at Gagron, the dense forest at Ranthambhore, and the desert at Jaisalmer.

The selection of these forts, located in different cities, as a serial cultural property, is the first of its kind ever by UNESCO. The six forts will now receive enhanced international recognition the way Jantar Mantar in Jaipur did after being named in the World Heritage List in 2010. This selection will also pave way for other monuments to be nominated in the World Heritage List.

In addition to above, the proposal of India relating to ‘Great Himalayan National Park’ for inscription on the World Heritage list under ‘Natural’ category has also been upgraded from ‘Deferral’ to ‘Referral’ which means that its outstanding universal value has been accepted by the Advisory Body of World Heritage Committee.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan

  • The Government of India has accorded a high priority to the Sanitation Sector.
  • In the 12th Plan an outlay of Rs. 34,377 crores has been provided for rural sanitation as compared to Rs. 6540 crores in the 11th Plan, which is a significantly higher allocation (425% higher than the 11th Plan).
  • The goal is to achieve 100% access to sanitation for all rural households in the Country by 2022 under the NBA.
  • Also as per 12th plan objectives of NBA, 50% of all the Gram Panchayats are to become Nirmal Grams by 2017.     
  • Government of India started the Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) in 1986 to provide sanitation facilities in rural areas.
  • It was simply a supply driven, highly subsidy and infrastructure oriented programme.
  • As a result of deficiencies and low financial allocations, the CRSP had very little impact on the gargantuan problem.
  • The experience of community -driven, awareness-generating campaign based programme in some states and the results of evaluation of CRSP, led to theformulation of Total Sanitation Campaign ( TSC) approach in 1999.
  • The TSC was started as a demand driven, community-led programme with major IEC inputs to make sanitation a felt need of the people.
  • As per the Twelfth Plan Working Group recommendation, the APL-BPL distinction and the very low incentive under the TSC have played havoc with the programme.
  • Many slip-backs in the NGP villages have been attributed to non-availability of water, clearly indicating need to synergize the drinking water and sanitation programme.
  • Owing to above and to accelerate the progress of sanitation in rural areas, The Government of India has revamped the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) as theNirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) in the XIIth Five Year Plan.
  • NBA is currently being implemented in 607 rural districts across the country.  
  • NBA envisages covering the entire community for saturated outcomes with a view to create Nirmal Gram Panchayats.
  • Under NBA, following steps have been taken:
    • A shift from motivating individual household toilet construction to covering whole communities in a Gram Panchayat saturation mode for holistic sanitation outcomes.
    • The scope of providing incentives for individual household latrine units has been widened to cover all APL households who belong to SCs, STs, small and marginal farmers, landless labourers with homesteads, physically challenged and women headed households along-with all BPL households.
    • Financial incentive for construction of toilets has been raised for all eligible beneficiaries to Rs. 4600/- from the earlier amount of Rs 3200/-.under NBA.
    • In addition upto Rs. 4500/- can be spent under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for construction of the toilet.
    • Along-with beneficiary contribution of Rs. 900/-, the total amount of Rs. 10000/- is now available for construction of toilets, which in the case of hilly and difficult areas is Rs. 10500/-.
    • More emphasis on Information Education Communication (IEC) by earmarking 15% of the total outlay of district projects for IEC activities.
    • With a view to give thrust to a new approach towards IEC, the Ministry has launched a Communication and Advocacy Strategy (2012-2017).
    • Conjoint approach with National Rural Drinking Water Programme(NRDWP) to ensure water availability for sanitation in Gram Panchayats.
    • Focused convergence of rural sanitation with associated Ministries including Health, School Education, Women and Child Development with NBA.

Programme Aajeevika Of National Rural Livelihoods Mission

  • The 2nd anniversary of India’s National Rural Livelihoods Mission(NRLM) was celebrated on 2 June.
  • NRLM is the largest women empowerment programme in the world and it will cover two-third of the country’s population in next 5 years.
  • Aajeevika is a flagship programme of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) under the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).
  • Aajeevika was launched in June 2011.
  • Aided in part through investment support by the World Bank, the Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.
  • It intends to over 7 Crore rural households, across 623 districts, 6,000 blocks, 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats, and 6 lakh villages in the country.
  • State Governments has established State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) to house dedicated structure at state, district and block level to implement multiple program components.
  • The core belief of National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) is that the poor have innate capabilities and a strong desire to come out of poverty.

Latest About Infant Mortality Rate in India

  • At present, Infant Mortality Rate is 44 per 1000 live births in the country as per Sample Registration System 2011 report of Registrar General of India.
  • The Millennium Development Goal 4 is to   reduce child mortality by two third.
  • At present India’s IMR stands at 44 per 1000 live births (SRS 2011) againstMDG trarget of 28 per 1000 live births.
  • However, 14 States/UTs namely Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Manipur, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura have already achieved MDG 4 of IMR.
The following interventions under Reproductive and child health programme of NRHM are being implemented to meet the MDGs on time:
  • Prevention and treatment of Anaemia by supplementation with Iron and Folic Acid tablets during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Name Based Tracking of Pregnant Women to ensure complete antenatal,intranatal and postnatal care
  • Operationalizing Community Health Centers as First Referral Units (FRUs) and Primary Health Centers (24X7) for round the clock maternal care services. )
  • Promotion of Institutional Delivery through Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK): Promoting Institutional delivery to ensure skilled birth attendance for reducing both maternal and neo-natal mortality.
  • Strengthening Facility based newborn care: Newborn care corners (NBCC) are being set up at all delivery points. Special Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) and Newborn Stabilization Units (NBSUs) are also being set up at district hospitals and CHCs respectively for the care of sick newborn including preterm babies.
  • Home Based Newborn Care (HBNC):  Home based newborn care through ASHAs has been initiated to improve new born practices at the community level and early detection and referral of sick newborn babies
  • Capacity building of health care providers: Various trainings are being conducted under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to build and upgrade the skills of health care providers in basic and comprehensive obstetric care of mother during pregnancy, delivery and essential newborn care.
  • Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health Programme (ARSH) – for adolescents to have better access to family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted Infections, counselling and peer education. 
  • A new initiative Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) has been launched on 6th February, 2013 for Child health screening and early intervention services to provide comprehensive care to all the children in the community. The purpose of these services is to improve the overall quality of life of children through early detection of birth defects, diseases, deficiencies, development delays including disability.

Monday, June 17, 2013

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is a United Nations observance each June 17.
Its purpose is to highlight ways to prevent desertification and recover from drought. Each annual celebration has a different theme.
This year’s slogan, "Don’t let our future dry up" calls for everyone to take action to promote preparedness and resilience to water scarcity, desertification and drought.
The slogan embodies the message that we are all responsible for water and land conservation and sustainable use, and that there are solutions to these serious natural resource challenges.
Land degradation does not have to threaten our future.
The World Day to Combat Desertification has been observed since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought.
The goal of the 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification is to create awareness about the risks of drought and water scarcity in the drylands and beyond, calling attention to the importance of sustaining healthy soils as part of post Rio+20 agenda, as well as the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

38 countries beat UN targets to reduce hunger

Thirty-eight countries have beaten a UN-imposed deadline of 2015 to cut in half the proportion of hungry people.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation on Saturday recognised the 38 countries and urged those still working to
meet the UN target to redouble efforts. The UN General Assembly in 2000 established a set of "Millennium Development Goals" for countries.
The No. 1 target was to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, including halving the proportion of hungry people by 2015.
The 38 countries include: Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Maldives, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam.

CDSCO to strengthen whistle blower scheme

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) is planning to strengthen its whistle blower scheme to "motivate the public and provide information to the regulators on movement of spurious drugs”. 

Apart from this, the organization is working on plans to set up 20 mini drug testing labs at port offices of CDSCO to monitor quality of imported and exported drugs and is also looking at purchasing 20 mobile drug testing vans to monitor quality of drugs moving in the market.

With Indian drug firms under increasing scrutiny, CDSCO also has plans to set up 'India Country Offices' in five countries to inspect foreign manufacturing facilities and address other regulatory issues. Over the next seven years, the organization also plans to correspondingly beef up its manpower by creating 1,195 new posts within its ranks, including 64 experts and additional 4,300 personnel for new laboratories, mobile drug testing labs and setting up a training academy. 

On the problems currently faced by drug firms in the US, CDSCO is planning to monitor case documents of companies that are already under the USFDA scanner such as:  On May 13, Ranbaxy had pleaded guilty to charges related to drug safety and falsifying data for adulterated drugs produced at two of its facilities in Dewas and Paonta Sahib and agreed to pay $500 million, the biggest ever settlement by a generic drug maker. Shortly thereafter, the USFDA had banned import of generic drugs from Wockhardt's Aurangabad facility. 

Glenmark Generics, a subsidiary of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, too announced on May 23 that it was recalling multiple lots of three of its drugs from the US market due to an "odd smell", according to USFDA notification. Around the time Wockhardt got its import alert, a similar USFDA warning was issued to a Gujarat unit of Sterling Biotech. Sterling Biotech had received an earlier alert in end-November 2012 when the USFDA collected and analyzed samples of pharmaceutical use gelatin and "found them to be contaminated with spore forming bacteria". 

Due to these incidents CDSCO will increase the vigil so that the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act are adhered to. An e-governance system will also be set up that would increase transparency along with credibility. Under this framework, all offices and laboratories of CDSCO and offices of state drugs controllers will be interlinked.  Eight new Central Drugs Testing Laboratories with a capacity to test around 8,000 samples a year by each laboratory and an upgradation of existing six laboratories is also in the pipeline.

Under the Drug and Cosmetics Act, the regulation of manufacture, sale and distribution of drugs is primarily the concern of the states, while the Central authorities are responsible for approval of new drugs, clinical trials, laying down the standards for drugs, control over the quality of imported drugs and coordination of the activities of state drug control organizations.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Great Nicobar now 9th Indian reserve in Unesco world network

The Great Nicobar Biosphere island reserve, whose tropical wet evergreen forest hosts a wealth of animal species and medicinal plants, joins a global list of places named by UNESCO for promoting sustainable development based on local community efforts and science.
The International Coordinating Council of Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC) under the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture designated the 103,870 hectares Great Nicobar reserve as protected, in its meeting in Paris, this week, according to a statement released by the body.
The reserve which encompasses a large part of the island ofGreat Nicobar is home to to indigenous Shompen people, semi-nomadic hunters living inland, and the Nicobarese, who are coastal dwellers dependent on fishing and horticulture.

The 6,381 inhabitants of the region derive a wide variety of biological resources from their environment such as medicinal plants and other non-timber forest products.

The bioreserve is home to 1,800 animal species, including 200 species of meiofauna in the coastal zone. Biosphere Reserves are sites chosen by the MAB program to experiment with different approaches to the management of terrestrial, marine and coastal resources as well as fresh water.

They also serve as in situ laboratories for sustainable development. The designation is not binding under any law but is aimed at building and promoting a network of places where people are attempting to mesh human activity with biological and scenic assets.

Great Nicobar joins the reserves at Simplipal (Orissa), Nokrek (Meghalaya), Pachmarhi (Madhya Pradesh), Nilgiri (Tamil Nadu), the Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu), Sunderban (West Bengal) Nanda Devi (Uttarakhand) and Achanakmar-Amarkantak (Madhyapradesh and Chhatisgarh) which are already on UNESCO's list.

Among the other 11 global sites included in the new batch of UNESCO bioreserve is the reserve in Alakol Kazakhstan, which includes wetlands of world significance.

It is an important Indian bird migration route, a water bird habitat and aggregation site.

The other sites are Gochang (Republic of Korea) Macizo de Cajas (Ecuador), Marais Audomarois (France), Marinas Corunesas e Terras do Mandeo (Spain), Mont-Viso (France), Monteviso Area della Biosfera del Monviso (Italy), Real Sitio de San Ildefonso-El Espinar (Spain), Snake Island, Laotie Mountain, (China), Terres de l' Ebre, Catalonia (Spain), Ziarat Juniper Forest (Pakistan) and Ordesa-Vinamala (Spain).

Poverty Eradication Programmes

Below Poverty Line (BPL) : According to the "Task Force on projection of minimum needs and effective consumption demand" appointed by the Planning Commission, a person is BPL if his daily consumption of calories is less than 2400 in Rural Areas and 2100 calories in Urban areas.
  • About 22% of total population is BPL in 2004-05 as per NSSOs survey.
  • 10th plan target of reduction in poverty ratio to 19.3% by 2007 and 11th plan target is 15% by 2012.
  • Poverty eradication is the explicit objective of 5th plan. Dandekar & Rath are the 1st to use energy requirements i.e., calorie intakes as a measure of poverty line. 8th Plan took Rs. 11,000 p.a. as poverty line for 5 member family in rural; for urban, Rs 12,000 p.a.

Poverty Eradication Programmes :

  • Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) (1st Jan 1986) : Construction of houses for the poor free of cost. Now part of Bharat Nirman.
  • Swarna Jayanthi Gram Swarojgar Yojana (April 99) : IRDP, MWS, TRYSEM , GKY, DWAKRA, SITRA. These 6 programmes were merged to become this scheme.
  • Sampoorna Grameena Rojgar Yojana : Emplt Assurance Scheme and Jawahar Gram Samviddhi Yojana were merged to become this scheme.
    • Aims : Providing wage - emplt in rural areas, food security.
  • "National Food for Work Programme" (Nov 2004) : This is for wage-emplt and food security to rural poor.
  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme : NREP and the above 2 programmes i.e., (Sampoorna Grameena Rojgar Yojana and National Food for Work Programme"  were merged to become this programme. 
    • 100 Day's guaranteed work in an year.
    • Rs 100/- wage per day per person.
    • Unskilled manual work in rural areas was launched on 2nd Feb. 2006 at Badlapalli, Ananthapur Dist (Andhra Pradesh) by the P.M. Extended to whole of India from 01-04-08. Budget allotment for 09-10 is Rs 39,100 Cr.
  • Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojana (Dec 1997) :  Nehru Rojgar Youjana, Urban Basic Services Programme and PM's integrated Urban Poverty Eradication Programme were merged to become this programme.
    • This is for self-emplt for Urban Unemployed.
  • DPAP : Drought Prone Area Programme was launched in 1973-74.
  • Desert Devt. Programme : Launched in 1977-78.
  • Integrated Wasteland Programme : Launched in 1989-90.
  • Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Youjana (Dec 2001) : Construction of dwelling Units for the slum dwellers and community Toilets.
    • It is merged in Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme on 3rd Dec 2005.
  • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (25th December 2000) :  For the "Poorest of the Poor." 
    • 30 Kg of Rice / Wheat per month per family from Jan 2006.
    • 25% of BPL house holds i.e., 2.5 Cr households are covered. Rice @ Rs. 3 per kg and wheat Rs. 2 per Kg.
    • Under this, the Govt provides guarantee by law to provide 25 kg of rice / wheat @ Rs. 3 per kg to 6.52 Cr. BPL households.
    • The current poverty estimate is 27.5% of population.
  • PM Gram Sadak Yojana : Launched in 25-12-2000.
    • 100% Centrally Sponsored.
    • To provide all-weather road connectivity to all habitations by 10th plan end.
    • 2009-10 allocation : Rs 12,000 Cr.
  • Annapurna Anna Yojana (2nd October 2000) : For Seniur citizens of more than 65 years, not covered by National old-age pension scheme.
    • Food grains 10 kg per month free of cost.
    • 100 % centrally sponsored.
  • PM's Adarsha Gram Yojana (2009-10) : Rs. 100 Cr for 1000 villiages (SC Population more than 50%).
Some More Important Points :
  • "Rajiv Awaas Yojana" is launched to provide affordable houses to slum dwellers and the Urban poor.
  • "Indira Awaas Yojana"  is launched to provide housing to Rural Poor.
  • The concept of "P-Index was coindec by Amarthya Sen.
  • India's per capita food consumption fell to 155 Kg/Year.
  • As per planning commission estimate BPL for 2007 : 19.34%
  • World Bank's Poverty Line : $ 1.25 per person per day; Asian Devt. Bank's new measure of Poverty : $ 1.35.
  • Flagship Schemes of UPA Govt :
    • Sarva Siksha Abhiyan
    • Midday Meals Scheme
    • NREGS
    • JNNURM
    • National Rural Health Mission.
  • Government of India appointed Task Forces under Nandan Nilekani (Chairman, UIIDAI) to work out mechanism to provide direct subsidies on keroscene, LPG and Fertiliser for the Poor.