India ranks 177 out of 180 in Environmental Performance Index 2018
India ranked 177th among 180 countries on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2018, released by Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum on January 24, 2018. The report was released during the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
On the other hand, Switzerland leads the Environmental Performance Index, followed by France, Denmark, Malta and Sweden at top 5 positions.
India is among the bottom five countries on the Environmental Performance Index, dropping 36 points from 141 in 2016. Moreover, India ranks 178 out of 180 country as far as air quality is concerned. Its overall low ranking was linked to poor performance in the environment health policy and deaths due to air pollution categories.
National Voters' Day 2018 observed in India
The 8th National Voters' day was observed across India on January 25, 2018 with an aim to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones. This was the eighth edition of the Day.
The day also aims to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process.
To mark the day this year, Election Commission and Facebook announced rolling out a new feature “Take the Pledge” on the Facebook that will send a reminder to users aged 18 years and above to take the pledge to vote.
Maharashtra bans sale of tobacco at shops selling FMCG items
The Maharashtra government on January 24, 2018 banned the sale of tobacco in shops selling Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) items in the state.
The state government announced a ban on the sale of tobacco at shops selling chips, chocolates and other edible items. The move aims to ensure that youngsters do not get addicted to tobacco products.
Speaking on the decision, Pallavi Darade, Commissioner of Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration, said that children tend to get influenced by the presence of tobacco and other related items while they are out shopping for food items like chocolates and chips. She said that the move is in line with the directions issued by the Centre.
WCD Ministry launches MIS portal for Anganwadi Services Training Programme
The Management Information System (MIS) portal for Anganwadi Services Training Programme was launched by Rakesh Srivastava, Women and Child Development Secretary in New Delhi on January 24, 2018.
The portal has been developed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with National Informatics Centre (NIC) for the submission of applications and estimates by NGOs for carrying out Anganwadi Services (ICDS) Training through Anganwadi Workers Training Centres (AWTC) and Middle-Level Training Centres (MLTC).
The first phase of the portal will enable NGOs to submit proposals to the respective states and Union Territories.
73 new airport and helipads to be connected under regional connectivity scheme UDAN 2
The Union Government on 24 January 2018 announced that 73 underserved and unserved airports and helipads will be connected under the phase 2 of the Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) Scheme, a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
A total of 90 proposals were awarded to provide flight connectivity to more than 300 regional routes. Interglobe Aviation, the parent firm of IndiGo, was awarded a maximum of 20 proposals followed by SpiceJet which won 17 and Jet Airways won 4 proposals.
For the first time, bids were received from helicopter operators under the phase 2 of the scheme.