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Evening News Digest: 21 January 2018

States pledge to galvanise behaviour change efforts to ensure ODF India in 2019

  • On 19th and 20th January, 2018, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation organized a two-day National Consultation on Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) in Gurugram, Haryana.
  • With the SBM entering its pre-final year of implementation, the States shared their plans on achieving an Open Defecation Free status in 2018, with a strong focus on behaviour change communication, delivered through a mixture of targeted inter-personal communication and mass communication.
  • Entrepreneurs in the sanitation sector were also invited to make presentations to the States on innovative toilet technologies developed by them. The Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation shared that 3 lakh villages, 300 districts and 10 States/Union Territories have been declared Open Defecation Free.

Centre signs agreement with ONGC for strategic sale of 51.11% equity in HPCL

  • The Government of India has entered into an agreement with ONGC today (Saturday) for strategic sale of its 51.11 per cent equity share-holding in HPCL at a consideration of Rs 36,915 crore.
  • In line with the budget announcement, ONGC had proposed to acquire the Centre's existing equity shareholding in HPCL. Through this acquisition, ONGC will become India's first vertically integrated "oil major" company, having presence across the entire value chain.
  • In this process, ONGC has acquired significant mid-stream and downstream capacity and will attain economies of scale at various levels of operations. Through this economic consolidation, HPCL will join as a member of an integrated oil and gas major group.
  • HPCL will continue to be a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE). The centre accordingly expanded the approach from disinvestment to investment and public asset management.

Fourth India International Science Festival to be held in Lucknow

  • The fourth edition of the India International Science Festival will be held in Lucknow. The ministry also said the exact dates and other details will be decided later.
  • Previously, the 1st IISF was held at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) New Delhi in December, 2015. During the festival, the mega Science and Technology expo attracted more than 3 lakh people. The second Festival at CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi in December 2016 showcased Indian achievements in various fields of science and technology.
  • The third in the series was held in October 2017 in Chennai.

India wins Blind Cricket World Cup 2018

  • India has retained the World Cup for the Blind. In the finals, India defeated Pakistan by two wickets at Sharjah in UAE.
  • Sunil Ramesh rose to the occasion as he played a great knock of 93 to help India retain Blind Cricket World Cup.
  • Team India achieved the victory target losing 8 wickets for 309 with one over to spare. Pakistan made 308 runs for 8 wickets in 40 overs.

Bharat Ke Veer anthem and short film on India’s bravehearts launched

  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched Bharat Ke Veer anthem and a short film on India’s bravehearts in New Delhi. On the Occasion, Mr. Singh appealed to the people to contribute in Bharat Ke Veer initiative and support the families of martyred soldier.
  • Bharat k Veer: Bharat Ke Veer is a fund to support the families of those courageous and brave Indian soldiers belongings to the eight Central Armed Police Forces, who lost their lives protecting the nation from terrorists and other anti- social elements. The fund is directly administered by the Home Ministry and is given as an annuity or one time grant to the family of the martyred soldier.

Rural sanitation coverage reaches up to 76 % from 39 % in October 2014

  • The rural sanitation coverage has reached up to 76 per cent from 39 per cent in October 2014 when the Swachh Bharat Mission was launched. Three lakh villages, 300 districts and 10 States and Union Territories have been declared Open Defecation Free so far.
  • The states shared their plans on achieving an Open Defecation Free status in 2018 in the workshop, with a strong focus on behaviour change communication. The States also shared their plans for sustaining their ODF status after achievement.

Maharashtra govt. launches `Balasaheb Thackeray Shaheed Sanmaan' scheme

  • The Maharashtra government launched `Balasaheb Thackeray Shaheed Sanmaan scheme, under which family members of martyrs would be provided jobs with the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC).
  • The scheme was announced in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
  • Under this, apart from jobs, wives of martyrs would also be provided with lifetime free bus passes. The MSRTC also launched a scheme for the youth in the Naxal-affected areas, under which driving training schools would be started for them.

President Ram Nath Kovind felicitates women achievers

  • President Ram Nath Kovind felicitated exceptional women achievers who are the first to set a milestone in their respective fields at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • Over 100 women were selected after an extensive research process by the Women and Child Development Ministry.
  • The women, who have been felicitated, are those who have been the first in any field like the first woman judge, first woman porter, first woman to head a missile project, first para-trooper and first Olympian.
  • A total of 227 women were shortlisted from various sources, including Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Sports, Limca Book of Records, press clippings, internet etc. To confirm the selection, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, along with an esteemed panel of judges, finalised the names of 112 extraordinary women who busted stereotypes and broke the glass ceiling to become the Number One.

Pure fruit juice does not affect blood sugar levels

  • According to a study it has been found that drinking 100 percent fruit juice does not add to the blood sugar levels. 100 percent fruit juice is not associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Drinking 100 per cent fruit juice does not raise blood sugar levels, and diabetics can heave a sigh of relief.
  • A comprehensive data analysis quantitatively assessed the relationship between drinking 100 percent juice and blood glucose control.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the body is unable to respond to insulin. Experts suggest that diabetes can be managed better with a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, exercising regularly and maintaining healthy weight are something diabetics should always keep a track of.
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