Digitally-Enabled Water Supply Infrastructure Under Jal Jeevan Mission

  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti has decided to create a smart rural water supply eco-system to measure and monitor the service delivery of the water supply in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

Aim: Measurement and Monitoring

  • To facilitate states and Gram Panchayats or its sub-committee, Paani Samiti, an automated system for measurement and monitoring of water service delivery is necessary. This necessitates the use of modern technology for measurement and monitoring of the water service delivery and to capture and transmit service delivery data automatically for ensuring the quality of service.

Initiatives towards this Goal

  • National Jal Jeevan Mission has constituted a Technical Expert Committee to prepare a road map for measurement and monitoring of water service delivery system in rural areas.
  • The National Jal Jeevan Mission and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology planning to conduct an ICT Grand Challenge to bring an innovative, modular, and cost-effective solution to develop a 'Smart Water Supply Measurement and Monitoring System' to be deployed at the village level.
  • The mission, in partnership with State Governments and sector partners, has started facilitating a sensor-based water supply system on a pilot basis in various villages. Gujarat has begun navigating the sensor-based rural water supply systems in 1,000 villages spread across five districts. The other States have also started pilot projects.

Brief on Jal Jeevan Mission

  • Jal Jeevan Mission being implemented in partnership with states aims at providing functional household tap connection to every rural household of the country by the year 2024.
    The programme focuses on service delivery at the household level, the supply of 55 litres per capita per day (lpcd) of water of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis. The mission focuses on 'service delivery', rather only on infrastructure creation.

Constitutional Provisions

  • In accordance with the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, Gram Panchayats at the village level is to manage drinking water supply. Thus, Gram Panchayat or its sub-committee, Village Water and Sanitation Committee/ Paani Samiti are required to function as a 'local public utility' for drinking water management, water service delivery, greywater treatment, and reuse, and take care of operation and maintenance of in-village water supply infrastructure for assured drinking water supply on regular basis, collect user charges for delivery of water supply services.


  • Digitally-enabled water supply infrastructure will help in near real-time monitoring and evidence-based policymaking.
  • Digitisation of water supply infrastructure has the potential to help the Gram Panchayats as 'local public utility'.

Journey Of India’s Independence Struggle Through The Galleries And Cells Of Cellular Jail

  • As India gears up to celebrate its 74thIndependence Day celebrations , the Ministry of Tourism’s DekhoApnaDesh Webinar Series presented the webinar titled “Cellular Jail : Letters , Memoirs & Memories on 10th August 2020.
  • The Webinar showcased the journey of India’s independence struggle through the galleries and cells of the Cellular jail. 
  • The lives and stories of some of the most famous political prisoners like Veer Savarkar, B.K.Dutt, Fazl-e-HaqKhairabadi, Barindra Kumar Ghose, SushilDasgupta were presented. 
  • The important contribution made by NetajiSubhas Chandra Bose in Andaman towards India’s independence also had a mention in the presentation. 

The sacrifices of following freedom fighters who had to go through the inhuman sufferings at the Cellular Jail were highlighted:

  • Veer Savarkar: In 1911, freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was sentenced to 50 years in the cellular jail of Andamans (also known as Kala Pani) for revolting against the Morley-Minto reforms (Indian Councils Act 1909). He was released in 1924.  He was known for his bravery and hence nicknamed ‘Veer’.
  • K. Dutt: Batukeshwar Dutt, also known as B K Dutt, was a Revolutionary Freedom Fighter. He, along with Bhagat Singh was involved in the Central Legislative Assembly Bombing Case of 1929, passed away on 20th July 1965 after an illness at the age of 54. Both Singh and Dutt were sentenced to life imprisonment and deported to the Cellular Jail in Port Blair.
  • Fazl-E-HaqKhairabadi: After the Indian Rebellion of 1857 failed, Fazl-E-Haq was covered by an amnesty and was arrested by the British authorities on 30 January 1859 at Khairabad for inciting violence. He was tried and found guilty of encouraging murder and role in the 'jihad'. He had chosen to be his own counsel and defended himself. His arguments and the way he defended his case was so convincing that the presiding magistrate was writing a judgement to exonerate him, when he confessed to giving the fatwa, declaring that he could not lie. He was sentenced for life to the prison at Kalapani (Cellular Jail) on Andaman Island, and his property was confiscated by the judicial commissioner of Awadh court.
  • Barindra Kumar Ghose: BarindraGhose was born at Croydon, near London on 5 January 1880.  Following the attempted killing of Kingsford by two revolutionaries Khudiram and Prafulla on 30 April 1908, the police intensified its investigation which led to the arrest of Barin and AurobindoGhosh on 2 May 1908, along with many of his comrades. The trial (known as the Alipore Bomb Case) initially sentenced BarinGhosh and UllaskarDatta to death. However, the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment, by DeshbandhuChittaranjan Das and Barin was deported to the Cellular Jail in Andaman in 1909 along with other convicts.
  • Sushil Dasgupta: Sushil Kumar Dasgupta (1910-1947) was born in Barishal, now in Bangladesh. He was a member of the revolutionary Yugantar Dal of Bengal, and the Putiya Mail Robbery case of 1929 took him to Medinipur prison. From there, he escaped along with fellow revolutionaries, SachinKar Gupta and Dinesh Majumdar. They were absconding for seven months. Eventually Dinesh was caught and hanged, Sushil was sent to Cellular Jail, and Sachin first to Mandalay Jail and, then, to Cellular Jail.

Contribution of Subhas Chandra Bose

  • On December 29, 1943, political control of the islands was passed to the Azad Hind government of Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose visited Port Blair to raise the tricolour flag of the Indian National Army.

Cellular Jail

  • The Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a prison where Indians fighting for freedom from the British were exiled and incarcerated under very inhuman conditions. Today, a national memorial, it is called cellular because it was constructed to host only individual cells for the purpose of solitary confinement.

Viper Jail

  • Prior to Cellular jail, it was the jail at Viper Island that was used by the British to inflict the worst form of torture and hardship on those who strove to free the country from the British rule.  
  • Solitary cells, lock-ups, stocks and whipping stands characterized the Viper Jail. Women were also held. The conditions at the jail were such that the place got the notorious name, "Viper Chain Gang Jail."



NashaMukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21)

  • NashaMukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21) for 272 ‘Most Affected Districts’ was e-launched by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment on the occasion of “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” (26th June).
  • The Plan would focus on 272 most affected districts and launch a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Dept.
  • The Components of the Action Plan are: Awareness generation programmes;Focus on HigherEducational institutions, University Campuses and Schools; Community outreach and identification of dependent population; Focus on Treatment facilities in Hospital settings; andCapacity Building Programmes for Service Provider.

Niti Aayog Panel To Develop Job Platform For Migrant Labours

  • Government think tank Niti Aayog, under the leadership of its CEO, Amitabh Kant has formed a panel including top officials of tech companies to develop a job platform for migrant labours.
  • The goal is to develop a platform that can help blue-collar workers find job opportunities in their own language and location.
  • The platform will connect job seekers, employers, government agencies, skill centres and external partners using new-age technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • As per estimates, there are over 40 crore workers in the unorganized sector accounting for around 30 per cent of India’s GDP and nearly 60 per cent of these migrant workers are either semi-skilled or unskilled who struggle every day to find the right job opportunity.

Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana

  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has launched its flagship “KumharSashaktikaran Yojana” in Pokhran in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan.
  • The KVIC distributed 80 electric potter wheels to 80 potter families in Pokhran which has a rich heritage in terracotta products.
  • Pokhran is one of the aspirational districts identified by the Niti Aayog.


  • The government has launched a new initiative SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) to conduct a skill mapping exercise and provide employment opportunities to the returning citizens under the Vande Bharat Mission. 
  • This is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The collected information will be shared with the companies for suitable placement opportunities in the country. 

Skills Build Reignite: Free Digital Learning Platform

  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) in partnership with IBM has unveiled Free Digital Learning Platform ‘Skills Build Reignite’ to reach more job seekers and provide new resources to business owners in India.
  • Directorate General of Trainingunder the aegis of MSDE has also announced a 10-week duration Skills Build Innovation Camp for studentsin association with IBM, providing hands on project experience, enhanced learning and increased employability.

KVIC To Promote Palm Products

  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has launched a project at Dahanu in Palghar district of Maharashtra, a state with more than 50 lakh palm trees to produce Neera and Palmgur which has huge potential to create employment in the country.
  • The project aims at promoting Neera as a substitute to soft drinks while also creating self-employment for Adivasis and traditional trappers.
  • Neera, extracted from the palm trees before sunrise, is a nutrient-rich health drink consumed in many Indian states.
  • KVIC also plans to explore other palm derived products.

Star Rating Of Garbage Free Cities

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs MOHUA) has announced results of Star rating of garbage free cities.
  • For the assessment year 2019-2020, a total of six cities have been certified as 5-Star (Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysuru, Indore and Navi Mumbai), 65 cities as 3-Star and 70 cities as 1-Star. 
  • The Star Rating Protocol was launched by the Ministry in January 2018 to institutionalize a mechanism for cities to achieve Garbage Free status, and to motivate cities to achieve higher degrees of cleanliness.
  • Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free Cities - a comprehensive framework where each ward in every city must achieve a certain standard across 24 different components of solid waste management (SWM).
  • The performance of cities under the Star Rating Protocol is crucial as it carries significant weightage when it comes to their final assessment in Swachh Survekshan - the Ministry’s annual cleanliness survey for urban India.

‘GOAL’ Programme

  • The ‘GOAL’ – Going Online As Leaders Programme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) in partnership with Facebook has been launched and is designed to provide mentorship to tribal youth with digital mode.

Committee On Drug Regulatory System

  • A high-level committee of experts has been formed by the government to recommend reforms in India's drug regulatory system so that approval processes can be fast-tracked.
  • The committee is chaired by Rajesh Bhushan, the OSD (Officer on Special Duty) to the Union health minister.

Migrant Workmen Act, 1979

  • A key piece of legislation governing inter-state migrants in India is the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979.
  • The Act was enacted to prevent the exploitation of inter-state migrant workmen by contractors, and to ensure fair and decent conditions of employment.

Key Provisions

  • It is applicable to every establishment that employs five or more migrant workmen from other States; or if it had employed five or more such workmen on any day in the preceding 12 months.
  • The law requires all establishments hiring inter-state migrants to be registered, and contractors who recruit such workmen be licensed.
  • Contractors are obligated to provide details of all workmen to the relevant authority.
  • Migrant workmen are entitled to wages similar to other workmen, displacement allowance, journey allowance, and payment of wages during the period of journey.
  • Contractors are also required to ensure regular payment, non-discrimination, provisioning of suitable accommodation, free medical facilities and protective clothing for the workmen.

E-Gram Swarajya App And Swamitva Scheme

  • Prime Ministerinteracted with Sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats throughout the country through Video Conferencing, on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day (24 April). During this event he launched a unified e-GramSwaraj Portal and mobile application and Swamitva Scheme.
  • e-GramSwaraj App: It helps prepare and execute Gram Panchayat Development Plans. The portal will ensure real time monitoring and accountability. The portal is a major step towards digitization down to the Gram Panchayat level.
  • Swamitva Scheme: It has been lunched in pilot mode in 6 states and helps to map rural inhabited lands using drones and latest survey methods. The scheme will ensure streamlined planning, revenue collection and provide clarity over property rights in rural areas. This will open up avenues for applying for loans from financial institutions by the owners. Disputes related to property would also be settled through the title deeds allotted through this scheme.

Reverse Quarantine

  • Reserve quarantine is a practice of detaching the most vulnerable people, aged or people with co-morbidity conditions, from the rest and monitor their health indicators closely to protect them from infection.
  • The government is working on it as part of its multi-pronged strategy against COVID-19. Through this, in case of a community spread, it can isolate its large volume of grey population and check their mortality rate effectively unlike what occurred in some of the western countries.
  • According to expert opinion, only reverse quarantine is effective until half of the population recovers from COVID-19 and gains immunity or a vaccine or medicine is developed.

VidyaDaan 2.0

  • Human Resources and Development Ministry has launched a national program VidyaDaan 2.0 for inviting e-learning Content contributions.
  • The programme has been launched due to the increasing requirement for e-learning content for students in both school and higher education especially in the backdrop of situation arising out of COVID-19.
  • VidyaDaan is conceptualised as a common national program for individuals and organizations across the country to contribute e-learning resources for both school and higher education to ensure continuity of quality learning.
  • The content will be used on the DIKSHA app to help millions of children across the country to continue their learning anytime and anywhere. Contributions can be made by educationists, subject experts, schools, colleges, Universities, Institutes, government and non-government organisations and individuals.
  • The DIKSHA Platform of the Ministry has been operating since 2017 with more than 30 States and Union Territories leveraging DIKSHA for augmenting teaching and learning processes. 

Ordinance To Amend The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897

  • Amid several reports of attacks on healthcare personnel engaged in treating and tracking Covid-19 cases across the country, the Union Govt. has come out with an Ordinance making acts of violence against doctors and frontline personnel a cognisable and non-bailable offence punishable with prison terms from six months to seven years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.
  • The ordinance provides for making such acts of violence cognizable and non-bailable offences and for compensation for injury to health care service personnel. Violence as defined in the ordinance will include harassment and physical injury and damage to property.
  • The Ordinance amends the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
  • In case of damage of property or assets, violators would also have to pay as compensation double the market price.

Nationwide “AYUSH Grid” To Connect All Hospitals And Laboratories

  • The Ministry of AYUSH has initiated steps to set up a nationwide digital platform called “AYUSH GRID” which aims to bring onboard all AYUSH facilities including hospitals and laboratories and to promote traditional systems of healthcare.
  • Ministry of AYUSH has conceptualized AYUSH GRID Project for digitalization of the entire AYUSH Sector.
  • Currently, Ministry has launched Pilot Projects like AYUSH Hospital Information Management System (A-HMIS), Tele-Medicine, Yogaloctaor Application, Bhuvan Application, Yoga Portal, Case Registry Portal, etc. and these projects will be co-opted in AYUSH GRID Project in future.
  • Ministry of AYUSH has also proposed to establish 12,500 AYUSH centres across the country for traditional system of healthcare and medicines by up gradation of existing State Government AYUSH dispensaries and Sub Health Centres by the year 2023-24.  Total financial allocation proposed for the scheme is Rs. 3399.35 crores over the time period of five years.

Pragyan Conclave 2020

  • “PRAGYAN CONCLAVE 2020”, a two-day Indian Army International Seminar being organised by Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), commenced on 04 Mar 2020 in New Delhi. The event brings together a cross-domain national and international experts to deliberate on the complex subject of ‘Changing Characteristics of Land Warfare and its Impact on the Military’.
  • The seminar provided a platform for deliberations on emerging ideas, perspectives and narratives that define the ‘New Age Warfare’ which is increasingly witnessing a change in its character as well as battlespace with the usage of new ‘means’ to pursue the ‘ends’. 

21st Edition Of Hunar Haat In Ranchi

  • Recently, Union Minister for Minority Affairs inaugurated the ‘Hunar Haat’ at Harmu Ground, Harmu Chowk in Ranchi (Jharkhand). This “Hunar Haat” was organised by Union Minority Affairs Ministry from 29th February to 08th March, 2020. This is for the first time that “Hunar Haat” was organised in Jharkhand. It was the 21st “Hunar Haat” of the Union Minority Affairs Ministry.
  • “Hunar Haat” is an effective mission which has been ensuring that the common people become a part of mainstream economic development. It has been providing market and opportunity to India’s indigenous legacy of handmade art/crafts. It has proved to be magnificent platform to understand India’s rich cultural heritage under one roof.  

IITFC Programme

  • The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has launched the Incredible India Tourist Facilitators (IITF) Certification Programme, a Pan-India online learning program that is open to all, subject to fulfilment of eligibility criteria, and can be undertaken from anywhere in the country. The Programme aims at creating a pool of trained professionals for facilitating the visit of tourists at destinations across the country.


  • The President of India presented the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr N.S. Dharmashaktu under the Indian nomination (individual) category and the Leprosy Mission Trust under the institutional category on February 6, 2020).
  • Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation, a pioneering organisation established in 1951 in the field of leprosy in India, has instituted the award titled “International Gandhi Award” in 1986.
  • The Award is presented once in two years and consists of Rs. 2 lakhs as cash award, a Medallion and a Citation. Two awards are presented either to individuals or institutions.
  • The Award is given to a Leprosy Worker or Institution who/which has undertaken work in the field of leprosy for a period of not less than 10 years and made significant contribution in any aspect of leprosy work, resulting in the amelioration of the suffering of leprosy patients and enabling them to lead normal life.

Ekam Fest

  • Week long exhibition-cum-fair “EKAM Fest” was organised by National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC) under M/o Social Justice & Empowerment at New Delhi.
  • EKAM Fest is an effort for promoting entrepreneurship and knowledge among Divyangjan community, generating awareness among society about potentialities of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs); providing a major marketing opportunity to PwDs entrepreneurs.
  • NHFDC Foundation is making efforts for development of a brand and platform for marketing of products of these determined entrepreneurs. Accordingly, name of the brand has been arrived at Ekam (Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Awareness, Marketing).

Second Phase Of Swachh Bharat Mission Gets Nod

  • The Centre will begin implementing the second phase of its Swachh Bharat mission in rural areas from April, focusing on solid and liquid waste management and the sustainability of the abolition of open defecation. The scheme will be implemented by the States, with a fund sharing pattern of 60:40 between the Centre and the States. In the north-eastern and Himalayan states, the Central share will be 90%.
  • In February 2020, the Union Cabinet approved an allocation of Rs 52,497 crore for the Mission from the budget of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation over the next four years.
  • The remaining outlay of Rs 88,384 crore until 2024-25 will come via a convergence model, depending on funds released under the 15th Finance Commission and money allocated to the rural jobs guarantee scheme, as well as a revenue generation model being developed for solid and liquid waste management.

3rd Phase Of PMGSY

  • The government has launched Phase-3 of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
  • The Phase III involves consolidation of ‘Through Routes’ and ‘Major Rural Links’ connecting habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
  • Under the PMGSY-III Scheme, it is proposed to consolidate 1,25,000 Km road length in the States. The duration of the scheme is 2019-20 to 2024-25.
  • The funds would be shared in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and State for all States except for 8 North Eastern and 3 Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched by the Govt. of India to provide connectivity to unconnected habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy.

‘Silver Line’ Project

  • The Ministry of Railways has approved the ‘Silver Line’ project of Kerala government that aims to connect major districts and towns of the state with semi high-speed trains.
  • The corridor will be 532-km long and will be built away from the existing line between Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur.
  • The Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail), a joint venture between the Ministry of Railways and the Kerala government to execute projects on a cost-sharing basis, will be the nodal agency.

Future Skills PRIME

  • Future Skills PRIME is the next phase of the ‘Future Skills’ platform that was launched in 2018.
  • This expanded digital platform would be called Future Skills PRIME (Programme for Reskilling/ Upskilling of IT Manpower for Employability).
  • Now it is open to professionals from outside the IT industry as well, those who want to skill themselves in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, Internet of Things, Big Data, cybersecurity, social and mobile and so on.
  • It is a joint venture program between the Ministry of Electronics and IT with National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) to skill 412,000 professionals in the next three years.

‘Good Governance Index’

  • The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions released, the ‘Good Governance Index’ on the occasion of Good Governance Day (December 25). The Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • The Good Governance Index is a uniform tool across States to assess the Status of Governance and impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs.
  • The objectives of GGI are to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs, enable states and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance and shift to result oriented approaches and administration.
  • The states and UTs are divided into three groups- Big States, North-East & Hill States and UTs.
  • The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors (Agriculture and Allied Sectors, Commerce & Industries Human Resource Development, Public Health, Public Infrastructure & Utilities, Economic Governance, Social Welfare & Development, Judicial & Public Security, Environment, Citizen-Centric Governance) on total 50 indicators.
  • Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Pondicherry topped in the Composite Index in the Big States, North-East & Hill States and UTs respectively.

Sectors and Best Performers



Big States

North-East & Hill States


Agriculture and Allied Sectors


Madhya Pradesh




Daman & Diu


Commerce & Industries







Human Resource Development




Himachal Pradesh




Public Health







A&N Islands


Public Infrastructure & Utilities


Tamil Nadu


Himachal Pradesh



Economic Governance






Social Welfare & Development






Daman & Diu

Judicial & Public Security


Tamil Nadu


Himachal Pradesh






West Bengal


Himachal Pradesh







‘UMMID’: To Tackle Inherited Genetic Diseases Of New Born Babies

  • The Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology has launched UMMID (Unique Methods of Management and treatment of Inherited Disorders) Initiative and inaugurated NIDAN (National Inherited Diseases Administration) Kendras to tackle inherited genetic diseases of new born babies designed on the concept of ‘Prevention is better than Cure’.
  • The program is being implemented at government hospitals so that people who cannot afford expensive care for genetic disorders will be benefited.
  • In India’s urban areas, congenital malformations and genetic disorders are the third most common cause of mortality in newborns. With a very large population and high birth rate, and consanguineous marriage favored in many communities, prevalence of genetic disorders is high in India.

The UMMID initiative aims to

  1. Establish NIDAN Kendras to provide counselling, prenatal testing and diagnosis, management, and multidisciplinary care in Government Hospitals wherein the influx of patients is more,
  2. Produce skilled clinicians in Human Genetics and
  3. Undertake screening of pregnant women and new born babies for inherited genetic diseases in hospitals at aspirational districts.
  • As a part of this initiative, in the first phase, five NIDAN Kendras have been established to provide comprehensive clinical care.

India’s First ‘’Water-Grid’’

  • The country’s first-ever ‘’water-grid’’ costing Rs 3,50,000 crore will come in the parched Marathwada region of Maharashtra in the next five years as part of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JMM).
  • To be implemented over the next five years, the JJM involves saving water and delivering it to the people’s doorsteps to resolve their water problems.

Second Multi Modal Terminal On Ganga

  • India’s second riverine Multi Modal terminal built at Sahibganj in Jharkhand was dedicated to the nation on 12 September, 2019.  This is the second of the three Multi Modal Terminals being constructed on river Ganga under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP)
  • Earlier, in November, 2018 the first MMT was opened at Varanasi. The third one is Haldia Multi Modal Terminal.
  • The Sahibganj terminal will open up industries of Jharkhand and Bihar to the global market and provide Indo-Nepal cargo connectivity through waterways route.
  • It will play an important role in transportation of domestic coal from the local mines in Rajmahal area to various thermal power plants located along National Waterway-1.
  • Also, Sahibganj will get connected to North-East States through Bangladesh by river-sea route.

Differently Abled People And Those Over 80 Years Of Age Put In Absentee Voters List

  • The Ministry of Law and Justice has amended the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, on October 22, allowing senior citizens and disabled people in the absentee voter list.
  • Differently abled people and those over 80 years of age can now cast their vote through postal ballots.
  • The absentee voter refers to a vote cast by someone who is unable to go to the polling station. In both these categories there are people who are unable to reach the polling stations and thus are unable to cast their votes.
  • At present, voting through postal ballots is available to the armed forces and those on poll duty.
  • The poll officer will attest the absentee voter in the case of senior citizens and person with disability in the form 13A.

CSCs To Start Telemedicine Services In Rural Areas

  • To bring down cost of treatment and to encourage Siddha and other systems of alternative medicine, such as homeopathy and ayurveda, Common Service Centres (CSCs) will now provide telemedicine services in collaboration with the Ministry of Ayush through video conferencing in rural areas.
  • To run this scheme, Ayush Ministry will arrange doctors for low-cost health services to rural people at their doorsteps.
  • For this service, CSCs will use BharatNet broadband network of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
  • The service will be first launched in Tamil Nadu and it will be extended in other states later.
  • Initially, the service will be available for free, but later there may be some nominal charges to recover the cost of service.

New RTI Rules Notified

  • The Union government has notified new rules under the Right to Information Act.
  • It reduced the tenure of information commissioners from five years to three.
  • Gave the government the discretion to decide on “conditions of service” for which no express provisions are made in the rules.
  • The Chief Information Commissioner’s salary has been fixed at Rs 2.5 lakh and an information commissioner’s at Rs2.25 lakh.
  • The government had been given the “power to relax” the provisions of the rules.