Government Schemes

Rajasthan becomes first State to implement blindness control policy

  • Rajasthan has become the first State in India to implement a blindness control policy to ensure the “right to sight”.
  • This drive aims to reduce the rate of blindness and bring light into the lives of people suffering from visual impairment.
  • The prevalence rate of blindness was 1.1% in 2020, aimed to bring it down to 0.3% through the policy.
  • The State government would mandatorily run keratoplasty centres for cornea transplants and eye banks in medical colleges.

Piyush Goyal to launch MAARG portal for startup mentorship

  • Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal will launch the MAARG platform (Mentorship, Advisory, Assistance, Resilience, and Growth).
  • The portal will facilitate mentorship between startups and entrepreneurs across sectors, stages, and functions.
  • Goyal will also announce the results of the National Startup Awards 2022.
  • The winning startups will be given a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.
  • One exceptional Incubator and one Accelerator each will also get a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh.

PM Modi announces ‘Aarogya Maitri’ project

India unveiled three initiatives to assist the Global South in areas ranging from technology to health, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying medical supplies will be provided to any developing country hit by natural disasters under the “Aarogya Maitri” project.

Addressing the concluding session of the virtual Voice of Global South Summit, Modi said India will launch the Global South Science and Technology Initiative to share its expertise in areas such as space technology and nuclear energy, and establish the Global South Center of Excellence for research on development solutions that can be scaled up and implemented around the world.

He also announced that India will establish the Global South Center of Excellence to carry out research on development solutions or best practices that can be scaled up and implemented in the Global South. In this context, he cited India’s digital public goods in fields such as electronic payments, healthcare, education and e-governance that can be used by other developing countries.

Meghalaya CM launched agriculture response vehicle scheme

  • Meghalaya CM, Conrad Sangma launched the shared school bus system, prime tourism vehicles, and agriculture response vehicle scheme.
  • The buses are part of Sustainable Transport and Efficient Mobility Society (STEMS) programme.
  • Agriculture Response Vehicles: Provided to farmers’ associations and groups for a strong transportation network
  • Prime tourist vehicles: Step to improve the overall tourism sector, and to provide good transportation services to tourists

Centre renamed Integrated Food Security Scheme

  • The government of India has named the new Integrated Food Security Scheme as Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY).
  • Prior to this, the Union Cabinet had approved this scheme for providing free food grains to Antodaya Ann Yojna (AAY) and Primary Household (PHH) beneficiaries.
  • This scheme came into effect on 1st January 2023.
  • Under PMGKAY, free foodgrains will be provided to all PHH and AAY beneficiaries, as per entitlement under National Food Security Act.

Chhattisgarh celebrates traditional ‘Cherchera’ festival

  • Chhattisgarh CM, Bhupesh Baghel has celebrated the traditional Cherchera festival at Dudhadhari Math in Raipur.
  • This traditional festival is celebrated on the full moon night of ‘Paush’ Hindu calendar month.
  • It is celebrated in the happiness of taking the crops to their homes after cultivation.
  • According to mythological belief, on this day Lord Shankar has begged from Mata Annapurna, so people used to donate green vegetables along with paddy on this day.

Tamil Nadu government sets up Nilgiri Tahr conservation project

  • The Tamil Nadu government has launched an initiative for the conservation of the Nilgiri Tahr (State animal) at a cost of ₹25.14 crore.
  • Aim: To develop a better understanding of the Nilgiri Tahr population through surveys and radio telemetry studies; reintroduce the Tahrs to their historical habitat
  • The project is to be implemented from 2022 to 2027.
  • Nilgiris Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), endemic to the Western ghats and locally known as ‘Varaiaadu’.

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launches ‘Stay Safe Online’ Campaign

  • Minister of Meity, Ashwini Vaishnaw has launched the “Stay Safe Online” campaign and “G20 Digital Innovation Alliance” (G20-DIA)
  • Aim of ‘Stay Safe Online’: To raise awareness about the online world due to the widespread use of social media and rapid adoption of digital payments
  • Aim of G20-DIA: To identify, recognize, and enable the adoption of innovative and impactful digital technologies developed by startups
  • Nodal Ministry for G20 Digital Economy Working Group: MeitY

Odisha launches ‘Drink From Tap’ facility in 19 cities, towns

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the ‘Drink From Tap’ project in 19 cities and towns of the state. Earlier, the facility was unveiled in Puri and Gopalpur. Under the project, drinking water will be supplied round the clock through taps installed in households. Patnaik said at least 5.55 lakh people in the 19 cities and the towns would benefit from the project.

The project was launched in Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sundargarh, Biramitrapur, Rajgangpur, Keonjhar and some parts in Bhubaneswar.

Delhi govt schools to introduce pre lunch ‘mini snack’ break

To battle malnutrition in children, Delhi government has decided to introduce mini snack breaks and parents counselling sessions in all city schools.

According to a circular by the Directorate of Education (DoE), schools have been directed to include a 10-minute mini snack break in the school timetable. The mini break should be 2.5 hours before the lunch break, it said.

Schools have been asked to prepare a weekly planner of snacks offering three food choices every day which may include food items such as seasonal fruits, sprouts, salad, roasted chana, peanuts etc.

The department has also directed the schools to hold class-wise counselling sessions in consultation with home science teachers emphasising on the relation between healthy diet and its effect on performance in academics, attention span, physical activity, comprehension, and growth of children.