- Assam bags Swachh Survekshan Grameen Award
- Assam bagged a special award – for its standout performance in the North East region – in the recently-concluded Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 conducted throughout the country by the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen.
- Swachh Survekshan Grameen is a survey conducted for rural cleanliness in order to rank all districts and States on the basis of qualitative and quantitative evaluation. The ranking is based on a comprehensive set of cleanliness parameters, survey of public places, citizens’ perception of ‘swachhata’ (cleanliness) and their recommendations for the improvement of the programme, and data from the Swachh Bharat Mission in rural areas.
- In its four-year journey, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), Assam, has been massively successful in construction of toilets across the State. Though the pace of the mission was a little slow in the initial stages, the momentum and scale of the mission has grown exponentially since 2016. Like the rest of the country, sanitation became the topmost priority of the Government in Assam.
- Comparing the physical progress of the State, only 172 villages were open-defecation free (ODF) till mid-2016, while at present, 20,324 villages have been declared ODF and the mission has reached out to 51.38 lakh rural families with toilet facilities. Moreover, 24 districts at present are 100 per cent ODF and the State seems to be just a few months away from becoming an ODF State. Much of this success can be attributed to the efforts made by the District Water and Sanitation Committees and the Mission Directorate.
- So far, Assam has initiated a number of innovative ideas which have contributed to the mission’s success. Some of the notable milestones of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Assam have been the Cleanest Village Award, Daan Toilet, and Mission Sambhav which covered 33 districts, reaching out to one lakh families, and which initiated the construction of 1,12,748 toilets on a single day, out of which 994 were donated.
- Some of the other initiatives include Ascosan, the first-ever State-level conference on sanitation organised in February 2017, and Ajanite Mone Mone, the first-ever regional movie on sanitation.
· First Global Guidelines on Sanitation and Health launched by World Health organisation
- World Health Organization (WHO) launched its first Global Guidelines on Sanitation and Health.
- According to estimation, for every US$ 1 invested in sanitation a nearly six-fold return can be expected.
- The new guidelines are based on four principal recommendations. They are:
- Accessible toilets, for entire communities, that safely contain excreta, through Sanitation interventions.
- Local health risk assessments to protect individuals and communities from exposure to excreta.
- Integration of sanitation into regular local government-led planning and service provision
- The health sector should invest more and play a coordinating role in sanitation planning to protect public health.
· India ranked 28th among 73 countries in govt e-payment adoption: 2018 Visa Survey
- The Government E-Payments Adoption Ranking (GEAR), compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by payments company Visa ranked India as 28th country to progress in the digital transformation journey.
- India moved up to 28th in 2018, from 36th in 2011.
- It holds the top ranking on B2G and G2B and comes third on C2G jointly with Argentina.
India leads the B2G category, along with other countries like Australia, Singapore and South Korea.
- Pakistan asks India to share data of J&K’s Kishanganga dam
- Pakistan has asked India to immediately share the data showing inflow and discharge of water at the Kishanganga hydropower project in Jammu and Kashmir.
- It has also sought dates for inspection of the 330MW hydroelectric project that India had agreed to during a two-day meeting held in August in Lahore between Indus water commissioners of the two countries.
- Indian International Science Festival to begin in Lucknow
- A four-day Indian International Science Festival 2018 will start in Lucknow on 5 October.
- President Ramnath Kovind will formally inaugurate the festival on 6 October.
- Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said about ten thousand scientists and experts, including science teachers and students will participate in the event.
- Theme of this year’s festival is “Science for transformation”.
· Digi Yatra: Flyers can use facial recognition biometrics to enter airports soon
- Taking the digitisation drive to another level, the Centre has announced the introduction of facial recognition biometric facilities at Indian airports. Soon, passengers would be able to enter airports with the use of facial recognition biometric technology.
- The Digi Yatra initiative, which will be operational by February 2019, seeks to promote paperless and hassle-free air travel. The biometrics-based digital processing system for passenger entry and related requirements at the airport was first proposed by the aviation ministry in July this year.
· Experts says mutated virus might have killed Gujarat lions
- Wildlife experts say that the death of 21 lions in the last month maybe because of a mutation in a virus. In 1994, the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) was responsible for an epidemic in the Serengeti region of Africa, where 1,000 lions died in 3 weeks. While the virus abounds in local tiger populations in Gujarat and is linked to deaths every year.
- An expert on lions at the Wildlife Institute of India said that this is the first time in years, that so many deaths have been attributed to the virus. However, every year 80-90 lions died due to various causes. The 2015 lion censusrecorded 523 lions. There was a 3% growth and now the number of lions are around 600.
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