- Himachal Pradesh cabinet guidelines for school vehicles
- In the wake of recent accidents involving vehicles carrying school children, Himachal Pradesh cabinet approved transportation guidelines for safe plying of school vehicles. The guidelines stipulate that all school vehicles have a first aid box on board, inflammatory items which are not more than 15 years old, display emergency number and have no curtains or music system. The vehicles should also have speed governors and special provision for the specially-abled students.
- The cabinet also approved ban on manufacturing, stocking, sale and use of thermocol cutlery (cups, plates, glasses) or any other item used for serving or consuming food in the state to protect the fragile environment. It was decided that three months time would be given to the businessmen to clear their stock and promote ‘pattals’ (leaf plates).
- It gave nod to reduce or revise the existing rates of Additional Goods Tax (AGT) under Himachal Pradesh Passengers and Goods Taxation Act, 1955 on iron and steel, yarn and plastic goods to benefit the general public.
· U.S. and South Korea agree to suspend joint military exercise scheduled for August
- South Koreaand the United States have agreed to suspend all planning activities regarding the “Freedom Guardian” military drill scheduled for August.
- Last year, 17,500 American and more than 50,000 South Korean troops participated in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills, although the exercise is mostly focused on computerized simulations rather than live field exercises that use weapons, tanks or aircraft.
· Now, water ATMs at more than 100 railway stations across India
- State-of-the-art water ATMs are now available at more than 100 railway stations across the country, supplying purified water to passengers at low cost.
- The Indian Railway Tourism and Catering Corporation (IRCTC) had tied up with water technology venture, Swajal, last year for the installation of such water ATMs. These ATMs dispense water at 104 railway stations across 14 states in the country. Out of these 104 railway stations, 30 per cent are high-footfall ones and 70 per cent are rural stations.
- The scheme was included in the Union Budget of 2016 and aims at generating around 40,000 jobs across the country. The water ATMs are useful to passengers who can fill up their water bottles at the station premises and avoid buying expensive packaged water. Also because these ATMs promote the use of degradable material, use of plastic will also reduce.
- The initiative has made a huge leap in reducing the use and careless disposal of plastic water bottles by travellers, as the water dispensed through the ATMs is available in water cups or passengers can bring their own containers.
- Its water technology purifies water up to ten filtration stages and dispenses water up to 10,000 litres per hour in some locations. They can also dispense water in different quantities – 300 ml, 500 ml, 1 litre, 2 litres and 5 litres.
· Govt extends the ban on import of milk products from China for 6 months
- The government has further extended the ban on import of milk and its products, including chocolates, from China for six months till December 23.
- Prohibition on import of milk, milk products (including chocolates, chocolate products, candies, confectionary food preparations with milk or milk solids as an ingredient) from China is extended for a further period of six months, i.e., till December 23, 2018 or until further orders.
- The ban was first imposed in September 2008 and later extended from time to time. The last ban imposed by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) ended on June 23 this year.
- The ban was imposed on apprehensions of the presence of melaminein some milk consignments from China. Melamine is a toxic chemical used for making plastics and fertilisers.
- Although India does not import milk, milk products from China, it has imposed the ban as a preventive measure.
- India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of milk. It produces around 150 million tonnes of milk annually.
- Uttar Pradesh is the leading state in milk production followed by Rajasthan and Gujarat.
· IGNOU and health ministry tie up to train 14 lakh professionals
- The Union Health Ministry signed an agreement with Indira Gandhi National Open University(Ignou) as part of its attempt to train 14 lakh youth in healthcare sector over the next four years to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals.
- Under the initiative, 10 short term training programmes have been launched in the health sector, while 2,700 First Responders have been trained across 12 states, and over 200 master trainers and 35 state Government Training Institutes oriented to run such courses.
- The agreement signed for skilling the country’s youth in healthcare programmes will be a big support for the Modi government’s flagship healthcare programme Ayushman Bharat which aims to establish 150,000 Health and Wellness Centres across the country.
- The courses under Skill India will ensure that the programmes have a defined curriculum which will yield maximum quality benefit to candidates training in them. All the courses under this initiative are aligned to National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF).
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