Centre to declare 2018 as ‘national year of millets’

Dedicating a year for millets will not only increase awareness about its health benefits, but also result in higher demand for these drought-resistant varieties, resulting in remunerative prices for poor and marginal farmers.

Benefits of Millets:

  • Millets offer nutrition, resilience, income and livelihood for farmers even in difficult times.
  • They have multiple untapped uses such as food, feed, fodder, biofuels and brewing.
  • Millets can provide nutritional security and act as a shield against nutritional deficiency.
  • In times of climate change they are often the last crop standing and, thus, are a good risk management strategy for resource-poor marginal farmers.

Sources: the hindu.

Himalayan Research Fellowships scheme

Context: The union environment ministry has decided to start a ‘Himalayan Research Fellowships scheme’. This is among the series of programmes that Environment Ministry is running for conservation and protection of Himalayas.

About the Scheme:

Aim: The scheme aims scheme’ to create a young pool of trained environmental managers, ecologists and socio-economists. This pool will help generate information on physical, biological, managerial and human aspects of Himalayan environment and development.

Some of the broad thematic areas that are being focused on for research under the NMHS are water resource management including rejuvenation of springs and catchments, hydropower development, assessment and prediction of water-induced hazards, livelihood options including ecotourism opportunities, biodiversity management including recovery of threatened species and skill development.

Sources: livemint.

Anganwadi Services Training Programme

The government has launched the Management Information System (MIS) portal for Anganwadi Services Training Programme.

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with National Informatics Centre (NIC), has developed a Management Information System (MIS) portal for submitting applications/estimates by NGOs for carrying out Anganwadi Services (ICDS) Training through AWTCs/MLTCs.
  • The first phase of the portal will enable NGOs to submit proposal to the respective States/UTs. They, in turn, process the proposals and recommend requirement of funds for running the Programme in the States/UTs.
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The Anganwadi Services Training Programme under the Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and the overall administration, management and monitoring of the implementation of the Scheme are being done by the respective State Government/UT Administration.

Source – Livemint

Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment scheme (AMRIT)

In a bid to make low-cost medicines more accessible, the health ministry is working to increase the number of AMRIT pharmacy stores by four times by this year end from the existing 111 outlets.

About the scheme:

The flagship programme of the Union Health ministry – AMRIT (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) aims to provide affordable life-saving cancer, cardiac drugs and medical disposables. The AMRIT pharmacies offer an average discount of 63% on medicines.

  • The AMRIT programme was launched in November 2015 and is being implemented through mini-ratna PSU HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) which has been setting up pharmacies at major hospitals across the country to dispense the medicines.
  • The primary goal of AMRIT is to make available and accessible, at very affordable rates, all drugs, implants, surgical disposables that are not dispensed free of cost by the hospitals.

Sources: pib.