Monday, April 29, 2013

Yash Chopra to be honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award 2013

Yash Chopra, Rajesh Khanna and Asha Bhosale are to be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards 2013 to be given on 30 April 2013 at Bhaidas Auditorium in suburban Vile Parle in Mumbai. Asha Bhosle will be honoured with the Phalke Ratna Award for the contributions made by her in the field of music for over a period of five decades. 

Late Yash Chopra for his contributions to Indian Film Industry will be posthumously awarded with the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award. Pamela the wife of the iconic filmmaker Yash Chopra will receive the Saraswatibai Phalke Award. 

Few more recipients for the 13th Dada Saheb Phalke Academy Awards 

• Prem Chopra will be honoured with the Phalke Senior Actor (Negative Role) Award 
• Mala Sinha will be honoured with the Phalke Icon Cine Artiste Award
• Rajesh Khanna will be honoured with the first superstar of Indian Cinema Award. 
• Akshay Kumar will be hounoured with Best Actor Award for Rowdy Rathore
• Dimple Kapadia will get the Phalke Ever Memorable actor award
• Manoj Bajapi will get the Phalke Excellent Performance award for the film Gangs of Wasseyur Irrfan Khan will receive the Phalke Memorable Performance Award for Paan Singh Tomar Phalke Versatile Actor award will be presented to Govinda 
• Phalke Debut Actor Award will be presented to the newcomer of bollywood, Arjun Kapoor
• Phalke Best Supporting Actor Award for Khiladi 786 will be given to Himesh Reshamiya 
• Disha Vakani and Dilip Joshi will be honoured with the best TV actor and actress in small screen category, for their performances in the popular show, Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma

Dada Saheb Phalke is known as the Father of Indian Cinema and was the first producer, director and screen-writer of India for the silver screen. His first film was Raja Harishchandra in 1913. 

The Dada Saheb Phalke Academy Awards are presented annually to celebrate the jayanti of Dada Saheb Phalke. On this occasion different people from Bollywood are honoured with trophies for their outstanding contribution to the Indian Film Industry.

National Cancer Grid

As ascertained from the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, the National Cancer Grid is envisaged to be a network of existing and future major cancer centres in the country created with the mandate of: 

i) Creating uniform standards of patient care across the length and breadth of country, bringing high quality cancer care to the doorsteps of patients. 

ii) Augmenting human resource capabilities in cancer management in the country. 

iii) Promoting collaborative research in cancer. 

Two preliminary meetings for the above have been held in August, 2012 and February, 2013 where major Cancer centres in the country participated. 

A proposal for financial assistance of Rs.378.47 crore has been received from Government of Maharashtra to establish a comprehensive Cancer Institute at Government Medical College and Hospital at Nagpur. The extant scheme for cancer (The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke-NPCDCS) does not have provisions to consider a proposal of this magnitude. The existing scheme provides for a financial assistance up to Rs.6.00 crore (Rs.4.80 crorefrom Central Government and Rs.1.20 crore from State Government) after fulfilling the guidelines and conditions. 

Proposals under National Cancer Grid have not been received from other State/UT Governments. 

E-Biz Portal to Ease G2B Services

As part of the Government`s initiative to improve the business environment and the ease of doing business in the country, the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry launched the eBiz portal on 28.01.2013 comprising the License and Permits Services component that will allow business users to obtain a customized list of licenses, permits, and regulations that they require or need to comply with across all levels of government. eBiz will serve as a 24X7 online single-window system for providing efficient and convenient Government to business (G2B) services to business community, by reducing the complexity in obtaining information and services related to starting businesses in India, and dealing with licenses and permits across the business life-cycle. It will function as one-stop-shop for obtaining information and forms; submission of forms/applications; online payment and routing of fees; and routing of forms/applications and fees to various departments for licenses, permits, registrations, approvals, clearances, permissions, periodic filings and compliances throughout the life-cycle of business entity. 

During the pilot phase, 29 services of year -1 and 21 services of year 2&3 i.e. total 50 services are envisaged to be integrated with the eBiz portal which include 26 services of Central Government departments and 24 services in each of the 5 pilot states i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

SABLA scheme

With the objective to improve the nutritional and health status of adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years and empower them by providing education in life-skills, health and nutrition, the Government of India introduced the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls - SABLA in November, 2010.
SABLA scheme will replace  the erstwhile Kishori Shakti Yojana (the objective of this scheme was to improve the nutrition and health status of girls in the age‐group of 11 to 18 years, to equip them to improve and upgrade their home‐based and vocational skills, and to promote their overall development, including awareness about their health, personal hygiene, nutrition and family welfare and management)and Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls (under this programme, 6 kg of free food grain per beneficiary per month was given to undernourished Adolescent Girls).

SABLA will be implemented initially in 200 districts selected across the country, using the platform of ICDS. In these districts, SABLA will replace KSY and NPAG. In rest of the districts, KSY would continue as before.

The objectives of the scheme are to:

a) enable self‐development and empowerment of AGs;
b) improve their nutrition and health status;c) spread awareness among them about health, hygiene, nutrition, Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH), and family and child care;d) upgrade their home‐based skills, life skills and vocational skills;e) mainstream out‐of‐school AGs into formal/non formal‐education; andf) Inform and guide them about existing public services, such as PHC, CHC, Post Office, Bank, Police Station, etc.
Brief description of the services to be provided under the scheme:
a) Nutrition: Each AG will be given Supplementary nutrition (SN) containing 600 calories, 18-20 grams of protein and micronutrients1, per day for 300 days in a year. The out of school AGs in the age group of 11-15 years attending Anganwadi Centres AWCs and all girls in the age group of 15-18 years will be provided Supplementary nutrition in the form of Take Home Ration (THR). However, if hot cooked meal2 is provided to them, strict quality standards have to be put in place. The Take Home Ration as provided to Pregnant & Lactating (P & L) mothers may be provided for AGs also, since the financial and calorific norms of Supplementary nutrition for both is same.
b) IFA Supplementation: Under Reproductive & Child Health (RCH-2) of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), school children (6-10 years) and adolescents (11-18 years) have been included in the National Nutrition Anaemia Control Programme (NNAPP). States will establish convergence with the programme being implemented by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to provide 100 adult tablets of IFA to each beneficiary through supervised consumption. IFA tablets will be distributed to AGs on Kishori Diwas.

c) Health check-up and Referral Services: There will be general health check up of all AGs, at least once in three months on a special day called the Kishori Diwas. The Medical Officer/Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) will provide the deworming tablets to the girls requiring this (as per State specific guidelines). Height, weight measurement of the AGs will be done on this day. Kishori cards for every girl will be prepared and maintained by marking major milestones. The weighing scales provided under ICDS will be used for weighing AG.

d) Nutrition and Health Education (NHE): NHE will be given to all AGs in the AWC jointly by the ICDS and health functionaries and resource persons/ field trainers from NGOs/Community Based Organisations(CBOs). This will include encouraging healthy traditional practices and dispelling harmful myths, healthy cooking and eating habits, use of safe drinking water and sanitation, personal hygiene, including management of menarche, etc. The adolescent girls will be informed about balanced diet and recommended dietary intake, nutrient deficiency disorders and their prevention, identification of locally available nutritious food, nutrition during pregnancy and for infants. This would also include imparting information about common ailments, personal hygiene, exercise/ yoga and holistic health practices.

e) Life Skills Education and Accessing Public Services: Its ultimate aim is to enable AGs in self development. Broad topics to be covered in the training for development of life skills may include confidence building, self awareness and self esteem, decision making, critical thinking, communication skills, rights & entitlement, coping with stress and responding to peer pressure, functional literacy, etc.


The Sixth Economic Census (EC) is scheduled to be conducted during Oct, 2012- June,13 in all the States and Union Territories of the country in collaboration with States/UT Governments.
The Sixth EC proposes to provide up to date information on number of establishments and number of persons employed therein, activity wise, of all the sectors (excluding crop production, plantation, public administration, defense and compulsory social security) of the country including its distribution at all-India, State, district, and at village/ward levels for comprehensive analysis of the structure of the economy (macro, micro, regional Levels).

Scope and coverage of economic census

The Sixth Economic Census is being conducted in all the States/UTs. All economic activities (agricultural and non-agricultural), except those involved in crop production and plantation, public administration, defense and compulsory social security, related to production and/or distribution of goods and/or services other than for the sole purpose of own consumption were covered.

However, as were done in earlier censuses, the following activities are being kept out of the purview of the Sixth Economic Census:

(i) Establishments of shelter-less and nomadic population, which keep on moving from place to place and camp either without shelter or with makeshift shelter.
(ii) Establishments engaged in some activities like smuggling, gambling,   beggary, prostitution, etc.(iii) Domestic servants, whether they work in one household or in a number of households, drivers, etc. who undertake jobs for others on wages.(iv) All wage-paid employees of casual nature.(v) Household members engaged in household chores.(vi) Persons doing different types of jobs depending on the availability of work e.g. loading, unloading, helping a mason or a carpenter, doing earthwork for a contractor.(vii) Household members working for other households and earning some money which is insignificant.(viii) Households in which none of the members is engaged in any gainful activity i.e. households depending on remittance, rent, interest, pension etc.
Main objectives of the Sixth Economic Census are as under:

a) To provide detailed information on operational and economic variables, activity wise, of all the establishments(excluding crop production, plantation, public administration, defence and compulsory social security)  of the country including its distribution at all-India, State, district, and village/ward levels for comprehensive analysis of the structure of the economy (macro, micro, regional Levels) and for benchmark purposes;
b) To provide similar data at lower geographical levels like tehsils /villages in case of rural areas and wards in case of urban areas for decentralized planning required under 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments;c) To generate information on number of exporting establishments, employing 10 or more workers,  activity wise and area wise in operation;d) To provide information on number of workers working in establishments, activity wise and area wise in operation;e) To provide information on number of workers working in unorganised sector (i.e. establishments employing less than ten workers);f) To provide updated Directory of Establishments employing 10 or more workers for local level planning purposes; andg) To provide an up to date frame (list) from which samples could be drawn for collecting detailed information.
The activities being covered in the Sixth Economic Census have a share of about 86 % in total GDP of the country.

Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011

For the success of any targeted approach, the identification of the real beneficiaries is of paramount importance. Thus the Central Government has decided to conduct a Socio Economic and Caste Survey of the national population in the year 2011. The Socio Economic and Caste Census would be carried out by the respective State Government with the financial and technical support of the Government of India. It was launched on 29th June 2011 in Hazemora Block in West Tripura.

The SECC, 2011 has the following three objectives:

1. To enable households to be ranked based on their socioeconomic status. State Governments can then prepare a list of families living below the poverty line.
2. To make available authentic information that will enable caste-wise population enumeration of the country.
3. To make available authentic information regarding the socioeconomic condition, and education status of various castes and sections of the population.

The SECC, 2011 will be conducted through a comprehensive programme involving the Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India and the State Governments. 

The process is as follows:

 Each Collector/District Magistrate will formulate a District/ Town Plan and a Communication Plan.
 24 lakh Enumeration Blocks (EB) will be used for the SECC, 2011- each Enumeration Block has roughly 125 households. These are the same Enumeration Blocks that were formed during the Census 2011. The enumerators will be provided copies of the layout maps and Abridged House List prepared during Census 2011. This will ensure complete coverage of the area.
 Enumerators will be trained to conduct the SECC, 2011.
 Each Enumerator will be assigned 4 Enumeration Blocks, and every 6 Enumerators will be assigned to one Supervisor.
• Enumerators will visit every household identified in the Enumeration Block and canvas the questionnaire. They will also reach out to homeless populations (eg. people living in railway stations, roadsides etc.
 A data entry operator will accompany each Enumerator.
• The data will be captured directly on an electronic handheld device (a tablet PC). The hand held device will have the scanned images of the forms filled up for National Population Register (NPR). This will also ensure complete and accurate coverage.
• The information (held in the tablet PC) will be read out to the respondent, who will verify it. A printed acknowledgement slip, signed by the Enumerator and Data Entry Operator will be given to the respondent.
• Collected data will be verified in the Panchayat.
 After all the information is collected from an Enumeration Block, a draft publication list will be prepared for verification.
 Within a week of publication of the draft list, the list will be read out at the Gram Sabha in all rural areas.
 Any person can file claims/objections and information furnished before designated officers for this purpose. The draft list will be made available at the Gram Panchayat, Block Development\Office, Charge Centre and District Collector’s Offices.
 The list will also be uploaded on the NIC/State Government/ MoRD/MoHUPA websites.

This exercise will help better target government schemes to the right beneficiaries and ensure that all eligible beneficiaries are covered, while all ineligible beneficiaries are excluded. 

Enumeration under SECC 2011 has been completed in 2,339,926 enumeration blocks (EBs) comprising 94.26 per cent of the total EBs of all the states as on 31 December 2012. The government has constituted an Expert Committee under the chairpersonship of Professor Abhijit Sen, Member Planning Commission, to examine the SECC indicators and the data analysis and recommend appropriate methodologies for determining classes of beneficiaries for different rural development programmes. It will consult states, experts, and civil society organizations while arriving at these methodologies.

Indian-Origin Economist Raj Chetty Won John Bates Clark Medal For 2013

Delhi-born Raj Chetty, the professor in the Department of Economy at the Harvard University won John Bates Clark medal for 2013, also called Baby Nobel. Raj Chetty’s work was also cited by the US President Barack Obama in State of the Union Address. 

John Bates Clark medal is conferred upon the American economist whose age is below 40 years and the one who has made crucial contribution to economic knowledge and thought. Baby Nobel is one of the most prestigious awards of economy. Infact, it is second only after Nobel Prize in economic science. 

Raj Chetty, 33, is the first Indian-origin person to win this high honour. His areas of work include social insurance, tax policy as well as education policy. 

American Economic Association Honors and Awards Committee described that Raj Chetty’s contributions assimilate evidence by making use of various methodological perspectives in order to find out answers of public policy questions. 

Raj Chetty graduated from Harvard University in 2000. He completed the PhD from Harvard University in 2003. 

UNICEF report on nutrition

The UNICEF report, ‘Improving Child Nutrition: The achievable imperative for global progress’ shows that progress has been made in recent years in addressing stunting in children, and calls for increased efforts to accelerate a response to a condition that affects some 165 million children across the world.

One in four of all children less than five years of age is stunted because of chronic under-nutrition in crucial periods of growth. The damage done to a child's body and brain by stunting is irreversible. It drags down performance at school and later at work, and puts children at a higher risk of dying from infectious diseases. Thus a key to success against stunting is focusing attention on pregnancy and the first two years of a child's life.

An estimated 80 per cent of the world’s stunted children live in just 14 countries. The report highlights successes in scaling up nutrition and improving policies in 11 countries: Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, the United Republic of Tanzania and Viet Nam.

Stunting is reduced through a series of simple and proven steps such as improving women’s nutrition, early and exclusive breastfeeding, providing additional vitamins and minerals as well as appropriate food – especially in pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life.

Some examples:

In the Maharashtra state in India, the percentage of stunted children dropped from 39 per cent in 2005 to 23 per cent in 2012 largely because of support to frontline workers who focus on improving child nutrition.

In Peru, stunting fell by a third between 2006 and 2011 following a Child Malnutrition Initiative that lobbied political candidates to sign a ‘5 by 5 by 5’ commitment to reduce stunting in children under 5 by 5 per cent in 5 years and to lessen inequities between urban and rural areas. Peru drew on its experience of successful smaller projects and integrated nutrition with other programmes. It also focused on the most disadvantaged children and women and decentralized government structures.

Ethiopia cut stunting from 57 per cent to 44 per cent and under-5 mortality from 139 deaths per 1,000 live births to 77 per 1,000 between 2000 and 2011. Key steps included a national nutrition programme, providing a safety net in the poorest areas and boosting nutrition assistance through communities.

The report says that existing solutions and the work of new partnerships represent an unprecedented opportunity to address child under-nutrition through countries accelerating progress through national projects coordinated with donor support and measurable targets.

G8 inks historic agreement against rape in war zones

Foreign Ministers of the world's eight most advanced countries (G8) adopted a declaration committing the international community to tackle sexual violence in conflict zones. G8 members have announced a new fund which amounts to nearly $35.5 million or £23 million.

It includes over 
$10 million from the United Kingdom: 5million from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to support grassroots and human rights projects on sexual violence against women and girls and wider projects on violence against women and girls. The other £5million is from the Department for International Development, to look at what drives violence against women and girls in conflict settings.

Finally, the Declaration emphasises that protection efforts against sexual violence should be included in the first phase of all responses to conflict and humanitarian emergencies. And it includes vital commitments on women and children's rights, the protection of women human rights defenders, and the need for a comprehensive approach to health, psychological, legal and economic support for survivors of sexual violence.

UN launched new plans to save children from pneumonia, diarrhoea

Pneumonia and diarrhoea account for 23 and 12 per cent of deaths respectively in children below the age of five in India. They remain major killers of young children globally too, accounting for 29 per cent of all child deaths-a loss of 2 million lives-each year. Children are dying because services are being provided piecemeal and those at the highest risk are not being reached. Use of effective interventions is too low-for instance, only 39 per cent of infants are exclusively breast-fed, while only 60 per cent of children with suspected pneumonia are able to access appropriate care.

Moreover, children are not receiving life-saving treatment-only 31 per cent of children with suspected pneumonia receive antibiotics and only 35 per cent of those with diarrhoea receive oral rehydration therapy.

Thus the United Nations has launched a global plan to combat two of the leading killers of children under five, potentially saving two million youngsters each year who would otherwise die from pneumonia and diarrhoea in low- and middle-income countries.

The GAPPD aims to provide a framework by which to protect children, prevent diseases and enable treatment using proven interventions. It calls on national governments to prioritise the fight against pneumonia and diarrhoea and is designed to inform country policies and practices.

The achievable goals set by the GAPPD for 2025 are: to reduce mortality from pneumonia in children less than 5 years of age to fewer than 3 per 1,000 live births; reduce mortality from diarrhoea in children less than 5 years of age to fewer than 1 per 1,000 live births; and reduce the incidence of severe pneumonia by 75 per cent in children less than 5 years of age compared to 2010 levels.

It also seeks to reduce the incidence of severe diarrhoea by 75 per cent in children less than 5 years of age, compared to 2010 levels, and bring down, by 40 per cent, the global number of children under 5 years of age who are stunted, compared to 2010 levels.

To achieve these targets, full immunisation coverage will need to be reached by the end of 2025, with 90 per cent of full-dose coverage of each relevant vaccine, 90-per-cent access to appropriate pneumonia and diarrhoea case management and at least 50-per-cent coverage of exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life.

By the end of 2030, there must be universal access to basic drinking-water in healthcare facilities and homes;universal access to adequate sanitation in healthcare facilities by 2030 and in homes by 2040.

The MDGs, adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, also seek to slash a host of social ills, including global poverty and hunger, disease, and lack of access to health and education, all by 2015.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Veteran Film Actor Pran conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2012

Pran Krishan Sikand, popularly known as Pran, the veteran film actor, has been conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2012. He is the 44th Dada Saheb Phalke Award Winner. The award is conferred by the Government of India for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema. The award consists of a Swarn Kamal, a cash prize of Rs.10 lakhs and a shawl. The award is given on the basis of recommendations of a Committee of eminent persons.

Pran has given sterling performances in many films along with Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor in 1950s and 60s. Pran’s performanceshave received acclaim in films like Azaad, Madhumati, Devdas, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Ram Aur Shyam and Aadmi, Ziddi, Munimji, Amar Deep, Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, Aah, Chori Chori, Jagte Raho, Chhalia, Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai. The list is long. 

Pran is a recipient of a number of film awards including the Filmfare Award. He was also honoured with the Padma Bhushan. 

2nd India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations held

India and Germany held 2nd round of Inter-Governmental Consultations during which crucial bilateral, international and regional issues like the long pending India-EU Free Trade Agreement and the situation in Afghanistan had been discussed.

Germany is the only country with which India has such a high-level format of discussion as the Intergovernmental Consultations. The first round of Consultations was held when Merkel visited India in May 2011.  Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe and fifth largest trading partner in the world. Bilateral trade between the two nations stood at 18.3 billion Euros in 2011. However, due to global economic slowdown, bilateral trade saw a dip of 5.5 percent last year.

During the meet India and Germany has inked six key MoUs including that for putting together Euro seven million for next four years towards joint research in the field of higher education and a pact for a soft loan of Euro one billion for strengthening the green energy corridor.

The lists of documents signed are as follows:

a) Joint Declaration of Intent regarding promotion of German as a foreign language in India:

The declaration will include introduction of B.Ed programmes for German language. Also scholarships would be awarded for Masters degree programs and for short stays in Germany with the goal of improving mutual trust and intercultural relations.

b) Intergovernmental MoU between India & Germany on Cooperation in the field of Higher Education:

The MoU intends to facilitate people-to-people exchanges. This includes students, academics, and project collaborators.

c) Joint Declaration of Intent in the area of Civil Security Research:

The Indo-German research cooperation in this new area intends to fund 5 pilot projects in 2013 with the identified priorities being natural disaster management, biological risk situations, urban security, protection & rescue of people and social aspects of civil security research.

d) Joint Declaration for cooperation in Agriculture sector:

Aims at strengthening cooperation in:
v plant variety protection;v conservation of plant genetic resources;v cooperation between Indian and German agricultural research institutions and
seed companies.

e) Joint Declaration of Intent for Cooperation in Standardisation, Conformity Assessment and Product Safety:

The declaration aims at strengthening bilateral cooperation in standardization, conformity assessment and product safety through bilateral economic and technical cooperation, intensifying dialogue and promoting coordinated activities in international organizations. Also provides for establishing and Indo-German Working Group Quality Infrastructure.

f) Joint Declaration of Intent  for Establishment of Green Energy Corridors

It aims at fostering increased use of renewable energy in India through technical and fanatical cooperation by way of integrating additional renewable energy generation capacity with the national grid. The Technical cooperation would be implemented through the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and KfW intends to provide concessional loans of up to Euro one billion over the next six years.
Under pacts signed, both Germany and India have committed to Euro 3.5 million each towards working on joint research and innovation programmes.

Forest Range Officer (Notification No. 52/2011) Final Key

Forest Range Officer Paper-1 G.S. & M.A.- Final Key

Forest Range Officer Optional Papers-Final Key.