SAG Indian dominance in shooting

Indian Shooter clinched Gold in three categories at the 12th SAG today. Chain Singh won Gold in 50m Rifle Prone Men Individual, Samaresh Jung in 25m Center Fire Pistol Men Individual and Gagan Narang, Chain Singh, Surendra Singh Rathod in 50m Rifle Prone Men Team. 

Pemba Tamang won Silver while Vijay Kumar of India settled for Bronze medal in 25m Center Fire Pistol Men Individual. Gagan Narang of India won Silver and Pakistan’s Umar Siddhique won Bronze medal in 50m Rifle Prone Men Individual event. 

Pakistani team Siddhique Umar, Midrar Ali, Amir Muhammad won Silver while Bronze medal goes to Sri Lanka’s S.M.M. Samarakoon, W.K.Y. Krishantha, P.H.W. Karunarathna in in 50m Rifle Prone Men Team. 


Shri J P Nadda launches the National Framework for Elimination of Malaria

India stands committed to eliminating Malaria by 2030: J P Nadda
“India stands committed to eliminating Malaria and is committed to allocating infrastructure and financial resources to this task”, said Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, here today. The Health Minister launched the National Framework for MalariaElimination (NFME) 2016-2030, which outlines India’s strategy for elimination of the disease by 2030.

Speaking on the occasion he said, “This framework has been developed with a vision to eliminate malaria from the country and contribute to improved health and quality of life and alleviation of poverty”. The Minister stated that the NFME document clearly defines goals, objectives, strategies, targets and timelines and will serve as a roadmap for advocating and planning malaria elimination in the country in a phased manner. Necessary guidance is expressed for rolling out the strategies and related interventions in each State/UT as per respective epidemiological situation.

Terming the launch of the national framework for elimination of Malaria by 2030 as historic in view of the public health challenge posed by mosquito-borne illnesses, Shri B P Sharma, Secretary (HFW) highlighted the importance of the segmented approach in tackling the issue. Eliminating Malaria will result in cutting down on expenditure on diseases control programme, and will help in reducing out-of-pocket expenditure too, he noted. He also added that the India has sturdy health systems with trained manpower, and the learning from the Polio and Elimination of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus will help in eliminating Malaria too. He said that while diagnostic kits and medicines are available everywhere, the delivery mechanism has to be streamlined for better outcomes.

The objectives of the NFMEare to: 1) eliminate malaria from all low (Category 1) and moderate (Category 2) endemic states/UTs (26) by 2022; 2) reduce incidence of malaria to less than 1 case per 1000 population in all States/UTs and the districts and malaria elimination in 31 states/UTs by 2024; 3) interrupt indigenous transmission of malaria in all States/ UTs (Category 3) by 2027; 4) prevent re-establishment of local transmission of malaria in areas where it has been eliminated and to maintain malaria-free status of the country by 2030. The milestones and targets are set for 2016, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2027 and 2030 by when the entire country has sustained zero indigenous cases and deaths due to malaria for 3 years and initiated the processes for certification of malaria elimination status to the country.

The NFME 2016-2030 also defines key strategic approaches such as programme phasing considering the varying malaria endemicity in the country; classification of States/UTs based on API as primary criterion (Category 0: Prevention of re- introduction phase; Category 1: Elimination phase; Category 2: Pre-elimination phase; Category 3: Intensified control phase); district as the unit of planning and implementation; focus on high endemic areas; and special strategy for P. vivax elimination. An enabled environment and necessary resources would remain critical to realize the objectives in the pathway to malaria elimination.

In the short-term, i.e. by end of 2016, all states/UTs are expected to include malaria elimination in their broader health policies and planning framework; by end of 2017, all states are expected to bring down API to less than 1 per thousand population; and by end of 2020, 15 states/UTs under category 1 (elimination phase) are expected to interrupt transmission of malaria and achieve zero indigenous cases and deaths due to malaria. It is also envisaged that in states with relatively good capacity and health infrastructure, such as, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra, accelerated efforts may usher malaria elimination sooner - within two to three years. As per the targets under the 12th Five Year Plan, the country is to achieve API<1 at state and district level by 2017 and pave way to malaria elimination in subsequent years.

Dr. NafsiahMboi, Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) Envoy stated that the launch of the document demonstrates renewed commitment and strategic thinking on India’s part, and is a significant effort for the malaria elimination efforts and goals of the region and globally also. She highlighted the importance of community mobilization and sustenance of momentum of efforts. The elimination will produce multiple benefits, she said, adding that it will help to build systems to fight other mosquito-borne illnesses also.

The importance of this effort for Asia Pacific region was echoed by Dr. PoonamKhetrapal Singh, Regional Director, SEARO, WHO. She emphasized that investment on malaria control and prevention activities will result in almost 20 times gains in reducing healthcare cost in addition to bringing down the burden of diseases.

Acknowledging India’s leadership in the region in the health sector, Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)congratulated India on its various successes in the health sector, and stated that India’s efforts in eliminating Malaria is key to the global efforts in this direction. Also present at the launch function were senior officers of the Health Ministry including Dr. Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services, Dr. SoumyaSwaminathanam, Secretary, Department of Health Research (DHR), and Shri K.B. Agarwal, Additional Secretary, MoHFW. 


Vice President Shri M. Hamid Ansari condoles the passing away of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa

The Vice President, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has condoled the passing away of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, here today.

Following is the text of Vice President’s message: 

“I am extremely saddened to learn of the demise of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad earlier today. A survivor of the mishap at Siachen, he had come to symbolize the grit, determination and the indomitable spirit of the Indian armed forces.

The role of the Army rescue team and the doctors and staff of the Army (Research & Referral) Hospital in making the valiant effort to save Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad have been commendable.

I join the nation in praying for eternal rest for the departed soul and in offering solace and fortitude to the members of the bereaved family.”

Dr. Jitendra Singh to inaugurate Destination North East-2016 festival tomorrow(12-02-2016)

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the “Destination North East - 2016” festival here tomorrow. Organised by the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) and Ministry of Culture, the festival will showcase the inherent economic, social and cultural strength of the North East Region (NER) at the national level. The three-day mega event will include theme specific Business Summit consisting of sectors like Tourism, Agriculture, Food Processing, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, IT, Handloom & Handicrafts, Livelihood, Micro-Finance and Start ups. Destination North East will enable various Central Ministries to showcase their initiatives in North East India. The event will also have cultural programmes to showcase the rich culture and folk dances of North East India.

After the inaugural session there will be sessions on Initiatives taken for Development of North-Eastern Region, Holistic Development of Tourism in the North-East – Exploring the unexplored and Opportunities for IT and ITES in the NER tomorrow. On Day-2, panel discussions will be held on enhancing scope of livelihood in North-East, Micro Finance for inclusive growth, Startup opportunities and challenges in NER, Growing up value chain from Handloom to Fabrics to Garments, need-based Skill Development and entrepreneurship promotion in NER and positioning the North-East Handicraft in the domestic and international market as a premium brand.

Cultural events include North-East folk music and dance choreography, Bihu dance featuring the acclaimed Smt. Madhurima, folk medley choreographed by Guru Madhurima Choudhury, popular rock music of North-East – performance by the Reverse Tragedy Band, Folk fusion and crossover music and Fashion Show of NIFT. Competitions for school children will also be held such as Quiz, Dance (solo & group) and Singing (Hindustani, Indian Pop, Western Pop and Classical).

Dr. Jitendra Singh has said that the Destination North East festival is being held to showcase the richness of North-East to the rest of India. The next venues for Destination North East will be Mumbai and Bengaluru, followed by other parts of the country. He said that each State of North-East India will be known by its distinct identity and for its uniqueness such as Mizoram as Bamboo State and Sikkim as Organic State.

DoNER, the only of its kind union Ministry that is region-specific, has taken several initiatives since the taking over by the current Government. The Ministry has different schemes for extending financial and other assistance to different states in the region. Some of the important schemes include Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR), North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS), North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP), North East State Road Investment Project (NESRIP) and other initiatives taken by North Eastern Council. Major initiatives of the DoNER include expansion of rail, road, telecom and FM radio network and power generation capacity, new AIIMS to be set up in Assam, Film Institute in Arunachal Pradesh, Sports University in Manipur, making North East the Organic Capital of India, North East BPO scheme to create 5,000 seats for call centres and “Ishan Uday” and “Ishaan Vikas” schemes for students.

Ministry of Culture to add Cultural colours to “Make in India” week, Mumbai

Ministry of Culture is all set to participate in ‘Make in India (MII)’ week to be held from February 13th to 18th, 2016 at MMRDA Ground, Bandra-Kurla Road, Mumbai. The MII week is being celebrated by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry to showcase innovation, design and sustainability driving India’s new manufacturing revolution, which will be the biggest-ever exhibition of its own kind in the world in which Ministry of Culture is co-partner. To promote appreciation of India’s rich art and culture, the Ministry of Culture has appointed South Central Zone Cultural Centre (SCZCC), Nagpur as nodal agency to showcase the rich cultural heritage of India during ‘Make in India’ week.

The event will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 13th February, 2016. To display country’s soft power, the Ministry of Culture has finalized the following programmes which will be organized by various cultural institutions working under the aegis of Ministry of Culture including Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Nehru Science Centre and all Seven Zonal Cultural Centres of India.

The programmes to be showcased by Ministry of Culture at MII week from 13th to 18th February, 2016 at MMRDA Ground, Bandra-Kurla Road, Mumbai are as follows: 

All seven Zone Cultural Centres will send 21 groups of folk artists, selected from all over India, who will give performances at the six-day long event. The art forms are: Bazigar (acrobats from Punjab), Rauf Dance (J&K), Been Jogi (Haryana); Mayur Dance (Uttar Pradesh), Kalaripayattu (martial art of Kerala), Thapetta Gullu (Andhra Pradesh), Panchavadyam (traditional orchestra of five instruments from Kerala), Rathwa Tribal Dance (Gujarat), Bahurupiya (mimicry artists from Rajasthan), Manganiar (folk singers of Rajasthan), Cheraw ( ‘Bamboo dance’ of Mizoram), Thang Ta (martial art form of Manipur), Pungcholom (Manipur), Singhi Cham (The Snow Lion Dance’ of Sikkim), Mallakhamb (gymnastic performed on a vertical wooden pole or rope of Maharashtra), Badhai Dance (Bundelkhand), Panthi Dance (Chhattisgarh), Dollu Kunitha Dance (Karnataka), Pandavani (Chhattisgarh), Gotipua Dance (Odisha), and Purulia Chhau (West Bengal)

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will be highlighting World Heritage Monuments like Elephanta Caves, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, and Bhaja Caves through decorative lightings. A short trip for MII delegates to these monuments have also been organized by ASI. The ASI will also conduct a workshop 
on ‘Project Mausam’- a project by Ministry of Culture that envisages the re-establishment of India’s ancient maritime routes. 

National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai will conduct exhibitions at various art galleries of Mumbai and curatorial walks during 13th to 18th February, 2016. The curatorial walks will be conducted by Shri Ranjit Haskote and Shri Kaiwan Mehta.

Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), New Delhi in association with SCZCC will put up an exhibition to showcase making of musical instruments, different masks, headgears and jewellery, Portrait Rangoli art, Buddhist sand art, Kathakali make up with natural stone colours and Thathera traditional utensils making at the Pavilion No. 27 of MMRDA Ground, BKC Road, Mumbai during MII week.

Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai will host two unique exhibitions titled: Cricket Connect and Cinema (Bollywood) during MII week at Nehru Science Centre, Dr. E. Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai. The SCZCC will also provide more than 100 artists to perform in the famous “Kala Ghoda” festival during MII week.

SAG Women's Football: India held to yet another draw; Nepal qualify to finals

India were held to yet another goalless draw, this time by a resilient Nepal side when they locked horns on Thursday in a South Asian Games women's football match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The evenly matched contest saw shots being fired on either half but all attempts eventually went in vain as the match ended 0-0 by full time. India's key forward Grace Dangmei was carried out on a stretcher after suffering an injury sometime around the 38th minute before being replaced by an impressive Bala Devi who was in the thick of action especially in the latter half. 

India's biggest challenge of the tournament Nepal looked threatening and came close to scoring on several occasions. Their first clear cut chance was in the 20th minute when Sabitra Bhandari headed a ball that was saved by India's goal keeper Aditi Chauhan. Chauhan and her Nepalese conterpart Lila Lamgade were both impressive kept busy for most part of the match. 

Three minutes after the restart, Nepal's Niru Thapa's free kick after an Indian foul nearly found the top of goal but an acrobatic Chauhan was able to make an excellent save. In the 52nd minute, super sub Bala Devi came close to placing India in the lead with a rocket of a shot that whizzed just over the bar. 

Again, in the 74th minute Nepal almost seized the decisive goal after a header by skipper Anu Lama. Dipa Adhikari crossed from the far left flank for Lama to head past Aditi Chauhan but the ball found the post to deny Nepal yet another goal. For India, their last chance came in the 90th minute when Pyari Xaxa failed to convert a cross by her team mate Sasmita Devi. 

At the post match conference, India coach Sajid Yusuf Dhar said that Nepal was always going to be a tough opponent but now they can only look forward to winning against Bangladesh as the result for that match will decide which country plays the final. 

Nepal's coach Dhruba Bahadur said that his girls changed to a defensive mode in the second half which allowed them a point and subsequently, an entry into the South Asian Games women's football final. “India played well. This was our first drawn match but we are happy to make it through to the final,” Bahadur said. 


India Handloom Brand Goes Online

Government is committed to raise the market positioning of handloom products: Textiles Secretary

The integrated website of ‘India Handloom’ Brand was launched today by Mrs. Rashmi Verma, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Textiles.  

The website is a one stop platform for all services to consumers, bulk buyers and handloom producers.  The website will provide full details of all registered India Handloom producers which will facilitate verification of genuine India Handloom product by customers.  They will able to verify the genuineness of the Brand logo through the registration no. which is printed on every label on the product.  The website will also provide information about the retail stores and e-commerce platform from where India Handloom branded products can be purchased.  It will also contain brief description of every product category and tips to identify genuine products.  Contact details of India Handloom Brand producers are available for bulk buyers like retail stores, garment manufacturers who will able to directly access the handloom producers registered under the Brand. The web site has also a section where handloom producers can apply online for registration under the Brand and can also track status of their application.

While launching the website, Secretary(Textiles) said that the Government is committed to raise the market positioning of handloom products for development of handloom industry and for increasing wages of handloom weavers.  She said that website will be an important platform for achieving these objectives and would be user- friendly both for consumers as well as handloom producing agencies.

‘India Handloom’ Brand was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 7th August, 2015, the first National Handloom Day, to endorse the quality of handloom products in terms of raw material, processing, embellishment, weaving, design and other parameters besides social and environment compliance.  The main objective is to promote the production of quality products with new designs for winning the trust and confidence of customers by giving particular attention to defect free, hand woven, authentic niche products with zero defect and zero impact on environment.

The registration under the brand is given after stringent testing of samples in Govt. of India laboratory. By 10thFebruary, 2016, 121 handloom producing agencies/enterprises have been given registration under the Brand in 33 product categories.Several e-commerce platforms and leading retail stores have been engaged for marketing of India Handloom branded products.

More than 43 lakh persons are engaged in this sector with annual production of 720 crore sq.mtrs which is 14% of the total textile sector.  It provides livelihood to large number of rural women and backward sections of the society.  Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles is responsible for development of sector in partnership with state governments.  It is supported by 28 Weavers’ Service Centres and 10 Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology.  National Handloom Development Corporation is responsible for supply of quality yarn, dyes and chemicals.

In order to address the main challenges of competition from powerloom sector, concerns of consumers about quality, and stagnant wages for weavers, new strategy aims at increasing production of high value good qualityproducts leading to consumers satisfaction and remunerative earnings to the weavers. Block Level Cluster Approach to support quality production and ‘India Handloom’ Brand for market positioning are two key elements of new strategy.

Documented success stories have established that number of handlooms alongwith new jobs have increased wherever market linked  design intervention has been taken up for supporting weaving of quality handloom products.  Such efforts are being further strengthened by launch of ‘India Handloom’ Brand.

Shri J. K. Dadoo, Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor; Shri Alok Kumar, Development Commissioner for Handlooms and other senior officers of Ministry of Textiles were present on the occasion.