First-ever Tribal Winter Festival held in Jammu-Kashmir’s Bandipora

A first of its kind Tribal Winter Festival was held in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir recently. Organised by the district administration in collaboration with various departments at Ketson, the festival witnessed huge public participation.

Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Owais Ahmed said the festival highlighted the customs and traditions of tribals and also assured development of sports infrastructure in the area to engage the local youth.

The festival witnessed music, dance, and cultural events that left the people enthralled, the spokesperson said. People from the Kashmiri community, Gujjars and Bakerwals danced together to the beats of dhol (drum) in a unique portrayal of cultural unity in diversity, he said.

The ‘gatka’ was another attraction performed by two tribal communities portraying the fighting spirit of the Gujjars amid all geographic, social and political odds.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath launches ‘One District One Sport’ scheme

Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched One District One Sport (ODOS) on the lines of the highly successful One District One Product (ODOP) scheme of the government.

The scheme serves the two interrelated objectives of the government, including promoting sports culture and keeping the younger generation healthy in the state and providing a platform for sportspersons to nurture their talents and skills in order to take part in prestigious national and international championships and win medals.

Under ODOS, one sport will be identified in each of the 75 districts of UP and necessary steps taken to find district-wise sport-specific talents and hone their skills in order to enable them to represent the district, state, national and international level tournaments and championships, as per a press release from Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

With the consent of the Central Government, the sports of 10 districts have also been changed to include them in the ODOS scheme. In the Khelo India Center of all these districts, the honing of the talents of players is going on under the supervision of skilled coaches. The rest will be done with the implementation of the new sports policy in near future.

ODOS Scheme (Sports & District)

  1. Wrestling – Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Chandauli, Baghpat, Aajgarh, Deoria, Maharajganj
  2. Athletics – Mainpuri, Firozabad, Jaunpur, Bhadohi, Sambhal, Sitapur, Kasganj, Unnao, Ayodhya, Kaushambi, Etah, Amethi, Rampur, Siddharthnagar, Santakbirnagar, Chitrakoot, Basti, Hamirpur, Hapur, Meerut, Ghazipur, Shamli, Ballia and Muzaffarnagar
  3. Hockey – Pratapgarh, Mau, Bareilly, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Hardoi, Farrukhabad, Moradabad, Balrampur, Etawah and Ghaziabad
  4. Table Tennis – Agra, Kanpur
  5. Badminton – Aligarh and Gautam Budh Nagar
  6. Weightlifting – Mirzapur and Bijnor
  7. Boxing – Bulandshahr and Kushinagar
  8. Archery – Sonbhadra and Lalitpur
  9. Football – Hathras
  10. Swimming – Pilibhit
  11. Shooting – Banda
  12. Kabaddi – Kannauj
  13. Lawn Tennis – Prayagraj

Sylhet Festival to be inaugurated by Ministers of India and Bangladesh

Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North Eastern Region G Kishan Reddy and Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will inaugurate the Sylhet Festival 2022 at Silchar in the Barak Valley of Assam.

The festival, which aims at boosting bilateral relations between the two nations, is being organised by India Foundation under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Culture in association with the Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies.

India to assume chairmanship of Wassenaar Arrangement on January 1, 2023

India will assume chairmanship of the plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement for a year on January 1, 2023, just five years after joining the 42-member voluntary export control regime that monitors transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods.

At the 26th annual plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement held in Vienna during November 30- December 1, Ireland’s ambassador Eoin O’Leary handed over the chairmanship to India’s ambassador Jaideep Mazumdar, who is the permanent representative to the UN and international organisations in Vienna.

India joined the Wassenaar Arrangement in December 2017 as its 42nd participating state. The body is a multilateral export control regime that works to promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies through regular exchanges of information among its members.

The regime is aimed at tracking such transfers and preventing “destabilising accumulations” of conventional arms and dual-use goods, the external affairs ministry said.

The plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement is the main decision-making body that operates on consensus. As the incoming chair of the body, India “remains ready and committed to work in close cooperation with other members to further the WA goal of contributing to regional and international security and stability”, the external affairs ministry said.

Stephanie Frappart set to become first woman referee in a men’s FIFA World Cup match in Qatar 2022

Stephanie Frappart will become the first female referee to take charge of a men’s FIFA World Cup game. The French official will take charge of the group stage game between Costa Rica and Germany on December 2. In the process, she will become the first woman to take charge of a World Cup game in the competition’s 92-year history.

Brazil’s Neuza Back and Mexican Karen Diaz Medina are the other women officials who have been designated for the same fixture. It is not Frappart’s first record. In 2021, she became the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup qualifying match, when she took charge of the Netherlands against Latvia.

She became one of three female referees to be selected in the pool for the World Cup in May, along with Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan.

‘Nirogi Haryana’ Scheme

Nirogi Haryana project was launched across the state, with the initial phase, of the project beginning in the District Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. All Antyodaya enlisted families whose income is under 1,80,000 per annum are the beneficiaries for a comprehensive free health check-up followed by required treatment.

The enlisted beneficiaries are approached by the ANM/ASHA of the health department in their respective areas and handed over an ‘amantran patra’ to visit their health facilities on the date as informed.

The beneficiaries have been divided into six categories age-wise and each category has a different coloured OPD card, with eight pages each. The age categories are 0 to 6 months, 6 to 59 months, 6 to 18 years, 18 to 40 years, 40 to 60 years, and above 80 years.

The health check-up includes a complete general physical examination including physical measurements (head circumference etc.), height, weight, pulse, BP, dental, and eye examination.

The mandatory lab tests are done for each beneficiary as enlisted category wise and specific lab tests are also done as advised by the examining doctor, designated for this scheme.

Any treatment if prescribed by the doctor would be provided free from the health facilities. The scheme will help check the increasing disease burden, and we will be taking the help of employees of other health programmes to maximise the benefit of the scheme,” said Dr Mankirat.

Gradually the scheme would be enrolled in various dispensaries, health and wellness centres in the remote rural areas of the district, and 51 health facilities in district Panchkula have been allocated to enlisted Antyodaya families.
The total estimated Antyodaya population of Panchkula is about 1,82,354 beneficiaries from about 42,000 families.
The entire data is proposed to be saved online to assess the disease burden as well as the earliest detection and required management by the government health facilities.

India witnesses significant decline in MMR from 130 in 2014-16 to 97 per lakh live births in 2018-20

India has witnessed a significant decline in the Maternal Mortality Ratio, MMR  from 130 in 2014-16 to 97 per lakh live births in 2018-20.  As per the Special Bulletin released by the Registrar General of India, the MMR has improved further by a spectacular six points and now stands at 97 per lakh live births. The MMR  is defined as the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per one lakh live births.

Upon achieving this, the country has accomplished the National Health Policy target for MMR of less than 100 per lakh live births and is on the right track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target of MMR of less than 70 per lakh live births by 2030.

The number of states which have achieved the Sustainable Development Goal target has now risen from six to eight leading with Kerala, followed by Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra  Pradesh, and  Tamil Nadu. Reacting to a new milestone in MMR, Union Health Minister Dr. Mnasukh  Mandaviya credited it to the various healthcare initiatives of government to ensure quality maternal and reproductive care.

India extends financial assistance of 100 million US dollars to Maldives

India has provided financial assistance of 100 million US dollars to the Maldives. The assistance is in the form of budgetary support to tide over the difficult economic situation in the archipelago nation. The assistance is being extended without any conditions and Maldives is free to use it in its economic recovery as it deems fit.

Speaking at the handover ceremony virtually, External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar expressed hope that the financial assistance will help the Maldives channelise their energies towards rapid economic growth. He added that India’s Neighbourhood first and Maldives’ India first policies have been special and together they have delivered results.

The financial assistance extended by India showcases the resilience and reliability of the India-Maldives relationship. India’s Neighbourhood first and Maldives’ India first policies have worked in tandem to safeguard the well-being of the people of both countries. At the same time, the assistance extended today is a testimony that India will continue to stand by the government and people of Maldives.

World AIDS Day 2022

World AIDS Day is observed annually on December 1. This is a chance for people all over the world to come together in the battle against HIV, to support those who are living with HIV, and to remember those who have passed away from an AIDS-related illness.

The theme for this year is “Equalize”. It is a call to action for all of us to pursue the tried-and-true methods required to redress disparities and aid in the eradication of AIDS.


The World Health Organization (WHO) founded World AIDS Day on December 1 in 1988 to promote information sharing between local and national authorities, international organisations, and private citizens. In 1988, when the inaugural World AIDS Day was observed, it was estimated that between 90,000 and 150,000 persons were HIV-positive, which leads to AIDS.

Within 20 years, more than 33 million individuals had contracted HIV, and since 1981, when the first instance of AIDS was documented, over 25 million people have passed away from the illness. As a result, AIDS awareness movements started to focus more on uniting and funding global organisations to educate societies about HIV/AIDS. The date of World AIDS Day in 2022 is Thursday, December 1st.

Up until 1996, WHO coordinated World AIDS Day, creating the annual themes and events. After that, UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, took over these duties. To raise AIDS awareness and integrate AIDS information on a worldwide scale, UNAIDS established the World AIDS Campaign (WAC) in 1997.

The WAC, which has offices in Cape Town, South Africa, and Amsterdam, Namibia, started operating independently in 2005. The WAC produces information that is disseminated for World AIDS Day in addition to assuring the support of authorities and AIDS groups.


Approximately 38 million individuals globally carry the HIV virus. Among the most devastating pandemics in history, despite the virus only being discovered in 1984, has claimed the lives of almost 35 million people.

Today, HIV treatment has seen scientific advancements, and legislation protecting those living with HIV is in place. Many people who live with the disease still experience stigma and discrimination since the public is unaware of the realities regarding how to protect oneself and others.

World AIDS Day is significant because it serves as a reminder to the public and the government that HIV is still a serious problem that requires urgent funding, more awareness, the eradication of prejudice, and improved educational opportunities.