- ‘Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya’ : A unique Countrywide Exercise by Swachh Bharat Mission
- The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has launched a month-long campaign, “Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya” that commenced on 1st January.
- It is an effort to promote ownership and sustained usage of toilets and also provide a facelift to the crores of toilets built under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
- The campaign comprises a unique Contest, under which, households are being mobilised to paint and decorate their toilets.
- It will be spearheaded by Gram Panchayats and coordinated by district administrations.
- The campaign will involve rural communities in Gram Panchayats across the country.
To whom it’s awarded?
- This is awarded to individual households, Gram Panchayats and Districts will be awarded on the basis of number of toilets painted and the quality and creativity of their work.
- The sanitation coverage in rural India has already crossed 98%,with over 9 crore toilets built under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) since its launch.
- Access to toilets is an important step towards the adoption of safe sanitation practices and an Open Defecation Free (ODF) nation.
- Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya is being seen as a strong move towards quality and sustainability in the mode of people’s participation.
About Swachh Bharat Mission
- Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is a nation-wide campaign in India for the period 2014 to 2019.
- The mission has two thrusts: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (“gramin” or ‘rural’), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (‘urban’), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
- Its aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, and rural areas.
- The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use.
- Its mission aims to achieve an “open-defecation free” (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
Note: The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), established by the UN in 2015.
- Menstrual Hygiene Schemes
- Recently, Ministry of Health addressed the need of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls residing primarily in rural areas under the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme.
- The funds are provided to States/UTs through National Health Mission for decentralized procurement of sanitary napkins packs.
This scheme encompasses the following:
- Increasing awareness among adolescent girls on Menstrual Hygiene
- Improving access to and use of high quality sanitary napkins by adolescent girls in rural areas.
- Ensuring safe disposal of Sanitary Napkins in an environmentally friendly manner.
- Provision of funds to ASHAs to hold monthly meeting with adolescents to discuss issues related to menstrual hygiene.
Note: ASHAs across the country are trained and play a significant role in promotion of use and distribution of the sanitary napkins.
- Smartphone interred in ‘Techno’ time Capsule.
- A Time Capsule with items representing today’s technology and India’s scientific prowess was buried by Nobel Laureates Avram Hershko from Israel and F.Duncan M. Haldane from USA on the occasion of the on-going 106th Indian Science Congress at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar.
- The Time Capsule contains 100 items that represent modern-day technology as experienced in India which was buried at a depth of 10 feet and will remain buried for the next 100 years
- Its includes replicas of Mangalyaan, Brahmos Missile and Tejas fighter jet representing India’s scientific prowess, the Capsule contains laptop, landline phone,smart phone, drone, VR glasses, stopwatch, Amazon Alexa etc.
- It also includes consumer durables like air filter, induction cooktop, air fryer etc which are part of our day-to-day life.
- Some other products preserved are solar panels, hard disk with latest documentaries and movies and current science books being used for teaching class 12 students and a mirror-less camera.
Indian Science Congress Association
- Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) is a premier scientific organisation of India.
- Its headquarters at Kolkata, West Bengal.
The Association was formed with the following objectives:
- To advance and promote the cause of science in India.
- To hold an annual congress at a suitable place in India.
- To publish such proceedings, journals, transactions and other publications as may be considered desirable.
- To secure and manage funds and endowments for the promotion of Science including the rights of disposing of or selling all or any portion of the properties of the Association.
- Lunar rover named as ‘Yutu 2’
- China has named the lunar rover successfully deployed on 3rd January to carry out a string of experiments on the far side of the moon, as ‘Yutu-2’.
- A lunar rover or Moon rover is a space exploration vehicle (rover) designed to move across the surface of the Moon.
- Some rovers have been designed to transport members of a human spaceflight crew, such as the U.S. Apollo program’s Lunar Roving Vehicle.
- Others have been partially or fully autonomous robots, such as Soviet Lunokhods and Chinese Yutu.
- Three countries have had rovers on the Moon: the Soviet Union, the United States and China; Japan and India currently have planned missions.
- Yutu is a Chinese lunar rover which launched on 1 December 2013 and landed on 14 December 2013 as part of the Chang’e 3 mission.
- Yutu 2 or rover’s touchdown is part of China Chang’e-4 lunar probe.
- It is China’s first lunar rover, part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program undertaken by China National Space Administration (CNSA).
- Rajya Sabha passes Bill to scrap No-Detention Policy for Children
- The Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha in July 2018, seeks to amend the Right to Education Act, 2009 to abolish the no-detention policy in schools.
- The earlier Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Bill prohibited schools to detain students till they complete elementary education even on account of under-performance.
- The aim was to decrease the drop-out rates in school and to reduce the emphasis on year-end examinations.
- This was replaced with continuation evaluation of students’ progress throughout the year.
Provision of the bill
- States now have the power to decide to continue with the no-detention policy.
- States can choose to conduct an examination either at the end of classes 5 and 8, or both.
- Students who are unable to clear the examinations will receive additional instructions and the opportunity to appear for a re-examination within two months of the declaration of the result.
- If the students still do not manage to clear the exam, the state may decide to detain them.
- No child shall be expelled from a schooltill the completion of elementary Education.
About No- Detention Policy
- As per the No-Detention Policy under the Right to Education Act, no student can be failed or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education covering classes 1 to 8.
- All the students up till Class 8 will automatically be promoted to next class.
- The essence of the policy is that children should not be ‘failed’ and detained up to Class 8.
- There are no “examinations” in the narrow traditional sense of the word up to Class 8.
- Instead, the Act mandates a process of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) to assess and evaluate the student’s learning.