- 10,953 villages declared odf in Jharkhand
- A total of 10,953 villages in the State of Jharkhand have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) under The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) (SBM(G). According to the data provided by the ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, out of total 29,647 villages of Jharkhand 10,953 villages, (i.e.36.94 per cent) have been declared as ODF. Performance of Jharkhand (36.94 per cent), however, is better than many other States/UTs such as Andaman & Nicobar Islands (0.93 per cent), Assam (29.82 per cent), Bihar (9.7 per cent), Dadra & Nagar Haveli (17.39 per cent), Jammu and Kashmir (6.80 per cent), Manipur (24.30 per cent), Odisha (16.34 per cent), Puducherry (7.92 per cent) and Tripura (1.65 per cent).
- The details were provided by Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi in the Rajya Sabha on February 5 in reply to the question raised by Member of Parliament Parimal Nathwani.
- In accordance with the statement tabled in the House, performance of the State of Gujarat in this respect is 100 per cent with all 18,261 ODF declared villages in the State.
- The government of India launched SBM (G) on October 2, 2014 to mark Birth Anniversary of Mahtama Gandhiji and set the target of attaining Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019. Total 11 states namely Gujarat, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Meghalaya have also been declared ODF, said the minister in the reply tabled in the Rajya Sabha.
- Nathwani wanted to know about the progress of the mission to eliminate open defecation in the country; and especially in the States of Gujarat and Jharkhand; and the efforts made by the Central Government for creating healthy competition among the State Governments with regard to sanitation.
· India Ranks 44th In Global Intellectual Property Index, US Tops
- India increased “substantially”its score in the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index, ranking 44th among 50 nations, according to the US Chambers of Commerce report.
- Last year, India ranked 43rd out of 45 countries in the Index.
- The top 3 countries in the list are-
- The USA.
- The United Kingdom.
- India’s overall score has increased substantially from 25% in the 5th edition of the Index to 30% in the 6th edition, according to the annual report prepared by the Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC)of the US Chambers of Commerce.
· Guinness World Record attempted for playing Ice Hockey at highest altitude
- To set a record in the Guinness book for ice hockey on the world’s highest altitude, an international level tournament was organized at Chiba Kargyam in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Five international teams from USA, Germany, Canada, Slovakia and Russia and a local team participated in the tournament.
- It was jointly organized by the Hockey Foundation, USA, Ladakh Winter Sports Club and Lalok Winter Sports Association.
- AIR correspondent reports that with a mission to set a record in Guinness World Record, the ice hockey tournament was held at recently built international standards open ice hockey rink at an altitude of 4371 meters above the sea level.
- 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony
- The opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics will take place at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9, 2018.
- The site of the opening ceremony Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium was built specifically for the games.
- These Games will feature 102 events in fifteen sports disciplines.
- Peace will be the central theme of the games.
- 11 states are now open defecation free: Government
- The government informed the Lok Sabha that till date 11 states and union territories (UTs) have been declared open defecation free (ODF) under Swachh Bharat Mission.
- The government is taking various steps under the SBM to make all states in the country ODF, the minister of state in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, said in a written reply.
· Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on 4-day visit to Palestine, UAE, Oman
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the Gulf and West Asian regionfor the fifth time since 2015.
- In his statement prior to his departure to Palestine, United Arab Emirates, and Oman, the Prime Minister said, this region is a key priority in India’s external engagement and he is looking forward to strengthening India’s growing and important ties with West Asia and the Gulf region through the visit. He said India enjoy vibrant multi-dimensional ties with the countries in West Asia.
- Expressing his gratitude to the King Abdullah II of Jordan for facilitating the transit, he said he looks forward to meeting him in Amman today.
- On his first visit to Palestine, he was looking forward to the discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas and reaffirmed India’s support for the Palestinian people and the development of Palestine.
· First Ever Chat Based Job Search App ‘Empzilla’ Launched
- The first ever of its kind in the country chat-based job search mobile app ‘Empzilla‘ is being launched that will do away with existing limitations of employers and job seekers making selection process quick and cost-effective.
- The mobile app gets the conversation between employers and job seekers going in seconds and the latter can chat with the potential employers.
· Haryana emerges as first champion of Khelo India School Games with 38 gold medals
- Haryana youngsters outclassed others by achieving the highest number of medal tally in the inaugural edition of the Khelo India School Games.
- The competition concluded in New Delhi.
- The sports powerhouse won 102 medals including 38 gold medals, 26 silver medals, 38 Bronze medals. Maharashtra (110) finished second overall while Delhi (94) came third.
- Punjab and Kerala won the boys’ and girls’ gold medals respectively in Basketball competition.
- On the final day, Haryana emerged with the best haul of five medals, including one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals.
- Haryana archers showed impressive performance and won one gold medal on the final day. It clinched two silver and two bronze medals from Archery on the same day.
· CCEA approves enhancement of target under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved to enhance target base of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) from 5 crore to 8 crores.
- The revised target of PMUY will be achieved by 2020 with an additional allocation of Rs. 4,800 crore.
- The decision comes in the wake of the huge response to PMUY from the women particularly in rural areas and to cover such households not having LPG connection.
- This move will address practical difficulty faced in implementation of MUY, namely, targeting genuinely poor households left out of Socio-Economic Cards.