- Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch nutrition mission
- To reduce the level of stunting, undernutrition, anemia and low birth weight in babies, the Centre has included 24 districts of Rajasthan in the first phase of National Nutrition Mission (NMM), which is expected to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jhunjhunu on January 22.
In the first phase, 315 districts from different states will be taken up. In the second, 235 districts will be covered in 2018-19 and, in the third phase in 2019-20, the Centre will launch NNM in the rest of the districts.
- NNM will be an externally aided project. It will have the budgetary support (50%) of the government, with the rest (50%) coming from The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or other multilateral development banks (MDBs). The government budgetary support will be in the 60:40 ratio between the Centre and state, says administrative guidelines.
- The key objectives of NMM are to prevent and reduce stunting in children (0-6 years), prevent and reduce undernutrition (underweight prevalence) in children (0-6 years), reduce the prevalence of anemia among young children (6 to 59 months), reduce the prevalence of anemia among women and adolescent girls in the age group of 15-49 years and reduce low birth weight.
· Six Countries to enter UN Security Council
- Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to make a difference.
- The UN Security Council has 15 members, including five with permanent seats who have the power to veto resolutions – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
- The six countries who left the UN Security Council recently are Egypt, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay.
- India and Myanmar Land Border Crossing Agreement approved
- The Union Cabinet approved the Agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing.
- The Agreement will facilitate regulation and harmonization of already existing free movement rights for people of both countries.
- It will also facilitate movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries.
- The Agreement is an enabling arrangement for movement of people across India-Myanmar border.
- Cabinet approves MoU between India and ‘Transport for London’
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing and implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and ‘Transport for London’, a statutory body established under the Greater London Authority Act, 1999 (UK) to improve Public Transport in India.
- The MoU will help to improve the overall public transport system in the country, improve passenger services and promote the use of high capacity buses in India.
- It will go a long way in strengthening ties and promoting bilateral relations between India and United Kingdom.
- Government approves Rs 6,809-crore Zojila Pass tunnel project in J&K
- The Union Cabinet has approved the construction of Asia’s longest bi-directional Zojila Pass tunnel at an estimated cost of Rs 6,089 crore, which will reduce the travel time between Srinagar and Leh to 15 minutes from the current 3.5 hours.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its go-ahead to the 14.2-km long tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir to provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh, which remains cut-off from the rest of India during winters due to heavy snowfall.
- Indian Railways to install GPS devices on 2,700 electric locomotives
- In a bid to provide real time train information, the government plans to install GPS devices on over 2,700 electric locomotives by December 2018, Parliament was told.
- “Railway Ministry in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is implementing Real-Time Train Information System (RTIS) which involves tracking of train by placing GPS/GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation System) based devices on locomotives,” Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
- “In Phase one, the RTIS project will cover about 2,700 electric locomotives in which the GPS device will be installed.
- This phase is planned to be completed by December 2018,” he said.
- India Cancels $500 Million Deal For Israeli Anti-Tank Missiles
- India has cancelled a $ 500 million deal to buy 1,600 Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel, the state-owned defence contractor Rafael Advanced Defence Systems announced.
- Spike is a man-portable “fire and forget’ missile that can hit moving targets such as a tank.
- India had opted for the Israel’s Spike over the Javelin missiles offered by Washington in 2014.
· Central Government Contours of Electoral Bonds Scheme
- The Centre unveiled the contours of the ‘Electoral Bonds’ scheme, which seeks to ensure the flow of clean money to political parties, without revealing the donors’ names.
- As per the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the electoral bonds will be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest-free banking instrument.
- A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase the bond from specified branches of the State Bank of India.
- The bonds can be purchased for any value in multiples of Rs1,000; Rs10,000; Rs1 lakh; Rs10 lakh; and Rs1 crore.
- The bonds will not carry the name of the payee and will be valid only for 15 days during which it can be used to make a donation only to certain political parties.
· Rajinder Khanna appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser
- Rajinder Khanna was appointed the deputy National Security Adviser (NSA).
- He was the former chief of the country’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
- He headed the RAW for a fixed two-year period. Mr Khanna is at present officer on special duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in the National Security Council Secretariat.
· Scientists discover four new balsam species in Arunachal Pradesh
- Scientists have discovered four new balsam species from various locations in Eastern Himalayasin the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.
- They are Impatiens haridasanii, Impatiens pseudocitrina, Impatiens nilalohitae and Impatiens roingensis.
- It was discovered in Pongchan. The species is characterized by small yellow flowers and hairy leaves.
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