Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], February 10 (ANI): Odisha Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday has approved “SOPAN” (Strategy for Odisha’s Pathway to Accelerated Nutrition), a transformative strategy for improving nutrition outcomes in hard to reach 125 blocks of 22 districts in the state.
The state government announced a special intervention package for adolescent girls in the 14-19 years’ age group hitherto uncovered under SAG Scheme including supplementary food and testing and treating for anaemia. “Like ‘at risk’ pregnancies are given ‘red flag’ for priority, nutritionally ‘at risk’ adolescent girls will be identified and prioritized with ‘pink flags’,” it stated.
“The strategy has focused on difficult areas, 125 ICDS projects with worst nutrition indications to be prioritized, life cycle approach for addressing malnutrition and anaemia among adolescent girls, pregnant women and children below six years in the state,” it said further.
The government will also ensure spot feeding for pregnant women in these areas (at present take-home ration (THR) is given to them) to ensure consumption.
For 0-3 age group kids, hitherto given THR, in selected areas government will have community-based creches providing meals, health checkup and care and stimulation over and above THR.
“Biannual growth monitoring drive for validation of weighing data for children 0-6 years to detect and address growth faltering, focusing on Moderately Acute Malmorished (MAM) children to prevent SAM children. For 3-6 year children, who can’t come to AWC, ration to be sent to hamlet for spot feeding there itself either by mothers or SHG,” it added.
The scheme will also focus on enhancing complementary feeding in addition to breastfeeding after 6 months by strengthening Anna Prashan Diwas, and drawing on the success of MDM fortifications through rice kernel fortifications while adopting the same for hot cooked meals in AWCs.
The government will also give micronutrient supplementation of THR made by SHOs, and give similar fortifications for THR with 11 micronutrients in these areas through Self Help Groups. (ANI)
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SC notice to states to map, enumerate, register children of migrants at work sites during Covid-19 pandemic
New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to all states on a petition seeking appropriate directions and orders to the respondents, including the Union of India (UOI) to map, enumerate and register the number of infants and children of migrant families at various worksites and centres of concentration during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde and also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notices to all the states and sought their replies in the petition filed by, Bangalore-based NGO, The Child Rights Trust.
“We issue notice to all the states, and seek their reply on the petition,” the apex court said.
The petitioner, The Child Rights Trust, had moved the Supreme Court seeking enforcement of fundamental rights, under Articles 14, 15, 19, 21, 21A, 39 and 47 of the Constitution, of migrant children and children of migrant families during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Bangalore-based NGO had sought direction to the Union of India and others, to set up children’s assistance centres in all major areas of concentration of migrant labour households that would facilitate migrant families to get information and assistance about the basic needs relating to health care, food security, education for children.
The petitioner also sought direction that the Anganwadi centres in villages should extend their services to all migrant children and households and to provide mid-day meals and rations free of cost to migrant children at their homes.
The petitioner sought a direction from the top court that the respondents should provide basic food and nutrition to migrant children and migrant workers through the ICDS Scheme, targeted public distribution system and other welfare schemes covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013 for children in the ages of 0-14 years.
The petitioner also sought that the respondents should be directed to report on the provision of health services of immunization, health check-ups, primary health care services to children of migrant workers.
It also sought that the pregnant and lactating mothers also be given due care and treatment, through ICDS and other schemes including the Primary Health Centres both at their place of migration and source villages and schemes under the National Health Mission.
The petitioner also sought that necessary direction be made to the Respondents, UOI and others, to give data on the out of school migrant children from all the States and to provide an action plan on providing a temporary education plan for migrant children and an action plan on how migrant children will be brought back to schools when schools start. (ANI)
2 Passport Seva Kendras to be transformed into All Women PSKs
New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Monday, marking International Women’s Day, said two Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) are being transformed into All Women PSK, one at RK Puram, Bhikaji Cama Place, in New Delhi and the other at Tripunithura, Cochin, in Kerala.
“In addition to the above, the Ministry has taken initiative to empower women as part of Passport Seva Programme. A total of 1670 women employees are deployed in the Passport Seva Programme,” said a statement by the Ministry.
“Through the Passport Seva Programme, passports have been issued to more than 2.76 crores applicants till date. In the last three years 1.03 crores passports have been issued to women applicants, amounting to 35 per cent of total applicants,” the statement added.
Muraleedharan said, “The government is continuously working to create a balance between both men and women in various spheres of lives, be it professional or personal. The country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is marching ahead towards a progressive, technologically advanced and socially diverse community.”
International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide every year on March 8 to recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’. (ANI)
Army Major sent to police custody till March 15 in Army recruitment paper leak case
Pune (Maharashtra) [India], March 9 (ANI): Pune City Police on Sunday arrested an Army Major Thiru Murgan from Wellington in Tamil Nadu in an ongoing investigation of a case related to an Army recruitment examination paper leak. A Pune sessions court sent him to police custody till March 15 on Monday.
The accused allegedly forwarded a question paper to his other associates through Whatsapp before the date of examination.
Additional Sessions judge, SR Navandar, granted custody of the accused to Pune city police till March 15.
“The accused is a key person in the conspiracy of leaking the paper. There may be various links of this conspiracy. Due to the unlawful activity, the entire recruitment process has been stalled and examination has been postponed. Looking at the seriousness of the crime and to conduct a thorough investigation, police custody has to be granted,” the court order said.
Public Prosecutor Prem Kumar Agrawal said during the hearing that the accused has shared the exam paper through Whatsapp with the other accused arrested in the case earlier.
“We need to investigate as to where did he get the question paper from and who all are involved in the crime. The other accused arrested in the case were running a training institute and they were supplied the question papers by the accused,” he said.
Advocate Rahul Lonandkar, appearing for the accused, said that all the materials, including the electronic devices such as mobile have already been seized and “there is no need to grant the physical custody of the accused to police”.
Earlier, Pune City Police, in a joint operation, with Military Intelligence had arrested 8 accused including two serving defence personnel, a defence civilian and some of the other accused who were running pre-military training institutes in various parts of the country.
The recruitment exam was scheduled for February 28 at 40 locations across the country and was later cancelled.
A total of nine accused have been arrested in the case so far, including the Major. (ANI)
Woman, allegedly beaten by former Union minister, denies reports
Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 9 (ANI): Hemalata, the woman who was allegedly beaten by former Union minister Ashok Gajapati Raju, on Monday denied any such incident having taken place and accused the YSR Congress of twisting the matter and spreading fake news.
“An Arti thali caught fire and he was just dousing the fire on that plate,” the woman said. She alleged that YSR Congress members are twisting the matter and speading wrong news.
Gajapati Raju speaking to ANI over phone, said, “I tapped an Arti plate which was in the hands of a woman and did not manhandle any woman.”
It was reported that former Union minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) senior leader Ashok Gajapati Raju allegedly manhandled a woman during an election campaign today in Vizianagaram.
However, the local police are not confirming the incident.
Vizianagaram Two Town Circle Inspector told ANI over phone that no such incident came to their notice. However, they are inquiring into the matter.
Today was the last day for campaigning for municipal elections in Andhra Pradesh. Ashok Gajapati was taking part in the campaign. (ANI)
Governments must also take concrete actions to level playing field for women: Gita Gopinath
New York [US], March 9 (ANI): Noting that governments must take concrete actions to level the playing field for women, Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund Gita Gopinath has said that in many regions of the world, a key obstacle to women’s empowerment are outdated legal, regulatory and institutional impediments.
Delivering the inaugural Dr Hansa Mehta Lecture at United Nations marking the International Women’s Day, Gopinath said that research has shown that if women were to participate in the labour force to the same extent as men, national income could increase significantly.
“We are meeting amidst a global health and economic crisis which threatens to roll back years of hard-won economic and social gains for women. Women have been affected disproportionately by the pandemic because they work predominantly in sectors such as restaurants and hospitality that have been hit hardest by the lockdowns, and as the main caregivers at home, they have had to drop out of the labour market as schools remained closed,” she said.
“Our research has shown that if women were to participate in the labour force to the same extent as men, national income could increase significantly,” she added.
Noting that women globally account for less than 20 per cent of board seats in banks and banking supervision agencies, and account for fewer than two per cent of bank CEOs, she said this suggests tremendous room to achieve greater financial sector resilience while also increasing banking sector profitability.
“Governments must also take concrete actions to level the playing field for women. In many regions of the world, a key obstacle to women’s empowerment are outdated legal, regulatory and institutional impediments–all of which are in the hands of governments to reform,” Gopinath said.
The IMF Chief Economist said it is estimated that in developing countries, 70 per cent of women-owned businesses are under-served by financial institutions, as a result of which women entrepreneurs run smaller enterprises, earn less than male peers and are more likely to fail.
“This is a financing gap as well as a lost business opportunity, in which the financial industry can step up to aid women’s financial inclusion.”
She said the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated excellent contributions of women as leaders, as health professionals, as first-responders, as caregivers.
“Yet women have been hit disproportionately hard by this crisis, and we still have a distance to go to get to gender equality. While much remains to be done, I am confident we will continue to make important progress towards the empowerment of women everywhere in the world.”
Dr Hansa Mehta was an Indian freedom fighter, an educator, a policymaker, and a champion of women’s rights. (ANI)
AP govt to bring Gender and Child Budget from financial year 2021-22
Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 9 (ANI): The Government of Andhra Pradesh has decided to introduce Gender Budget and Child Budget from 2021-22. Accordingly, a Government Order has been issued. The department for women, children, disabled and senior citizen will act as nodal department for preparing the above-mentioned budgets.
The Government Order reads, “The Government of Andhra Pradesh has launched new programmes and schemes targeted at women and children, especially in areas such as health, education, nutrition, livelihood and protection from abuse. Gender and Child responsive budgeting helps to know how many resources are allocated towards needs and welfare of women and children.
The statement furher said that accordingly, the state government of Andhra Pradesh has started the practice of preparing special statements on Gender Budget and Child Budget from the financial year 2021-22 in order to depict the magnitude of budgetary allocations.
“The Gender Budget Statement is proposed to be prepared in two parts. Part A- reflecting schemes that are 100% targeted towards women and girl beneficiaries; and Part B- reflecting Pro-women and girl schemes in which 30 to 99% allocations are towards women and girls”, the statement further said.
The statement also said that the Child Budget aims at consolidation and analysis of overall budgetary resources that the Government of Andhra Pradesh allocates and pends on programmes and schemes that benefit children (0-18 years).
The Child Budget Statement is proposed to be prepared in two parts, namely 100 per cent child-centric and less than 100 per cent child-centric programmes/schemes, it further added. (ANI)
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