Highest number of acute respiratory infections among under-5 children in Bihar.

Source – financialexpress.com

Bihar recorded the highest prevalence of acute respiratory infections among under-five children among the five high-burden states between September 2018 and June 2019. The prevalence of acute respiratory infections among under-five children was 18.2 per cent in Bihar, followed by Uttar Pradesh (15.9 per cent), Jharkhand (12.8 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (11.6 per cent) and Rajasthan (8.4 per cent), according to report — “Situation Analysis of Pneumonia in India” — released on Tuesday.

Household air pollution emerged as the important risk factor for childhood pneumonia.

The report by a non-profit charity organisation, ‘Save the Children’, highlighted that children from households using improved fuel for cooking LPG had a preventive effect. It revealed 2 per cent lower probability of reporting acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in households using clean fuels for cooking.

“ARI prevalence was 4 per cent higher among chidren, wherein breastfeeding was initiated later than one hour after childbirth and 2.4 per cent higher in cases where they were exclusively breast fed for less than 6 months,” the report stated.

According to the report, awareness on signs of pneumonia and importance of early care seeking was poor. This is a critical gap that requires focussed attention.

Almost 81 per cent caregivers preferred private sector for availing medical treatment for pneumonia in children. Under-reporting of pneumonia cases both in public and private healthcare domain, the report stated.

The report encapsulates results from an in-depth assessment of five high-burden states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, mapping the challenges and calling for action.

Dr Ajay Khera, Commissioner, Maternal and Child Health, Ministry of Health, explained how it focuses on improving the quality of care at birth, which involves equipping ASHA workers and mobilizing mothers to healthcare centres.

“Health and Wellness centre is a new entrant in the health system, which will help reaching out to grassroots level. The government has set really ambitious targets to tackle childhood maternity and is totally committed for this cause,” Khera said.

Anindit Roy Chowdhury, Director, Programmes, Save the Children, said, “Pneumonia is still the leading cause of death in children and accounts for 14.3 per cent of under 5 deaths in India, which translates to 1 child death every 4 minutes. India contributes to 17 per cent of global under 5 pneumonia deaths.”

“Addressing childhood Pneumonia is one of the three centenary commitments of Save the Children and we are committed to end preventable pneumonia deaths.This current report, entitled, ‘Fighting for breath in India’, that we are launching, is a step towards that commitment,” Chowdhury said.

Save the Children and UNICEF have entered into a partnership at global level in the fight against childhood pneumonia and is committed to support the health ministry in the roll out of the recently launched SAANS campaign on Pneumonia.

The organisation has also recently collaborated with Philips India to develop and prove low-cost innovative approaches for prevention, diagnosis and management of Childhood Pneumonia.

Manisha Kulshreshtha wins 28th Bihari Puraskar.

Source – hindustantimes.com

Noted writer from Rajasthan, Manisha Kulshreshtha, was awarded the 28th Bihari Puraskar for 2018 for her novel ‘Swapnapash’, on Friday.

The award is presented by the KK Birla Foundation and is for writers of Rajasthani origin. It is given annually to an outstanding work in Hindi or Rajasthani published in the past 10 years. Named after famous Hindi poet Bihari, the award carries a cash prize of ~2.5 lakh, a citation, and a plaque.

Fifty-two-year-old Kulshreshtha was born in Jodhpur and is a graduate in science and postgraduate in Hindi literature.

She is known for her works like ‘Shigaf’, ‘Shalbhanjika’ and ‘Panchkanya’.

The citation read, “In Swapnapash, through her protagonist Gulnaz Fariba, Kulshreshtha has presented a lively description of a woman with schizophrenia, her life, her dreams, expectation and apprehensions.”

A freelance writer, Kulshreshtha also edits Hindi web magazine ‘Hindi Next’.

Speaking on the occasion, she said, “I am thankful to Birla Foundation for the award which will make me more responsible towards every word I write.”

Chief guest Mamta Kaliya said, “Rajasthan has a tradition of great storytellers and Manisha has carried it with control over a topic such as schizophrenia.”

KK Birla Foundation director Suresh Rituparn said it was established by KK Birla with an objective to work in areas like education, culture, academics, art and health. The Bihari Puraskar is one of the three literary awards instituted by the Foundation in 1991.

The jury this year comprised Nand Bharadwaj, Hemant Shesh, Murlidhar Vaishnav, Alka Saraogi, Om Thanvi and Dr Suresh Rituparn.

UP, Bihar at bottom of India’s justice league.

Source – indiatoday.in

Law and order has always been a major concern in the two big states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Despite claims of improvement over the years by respective state leaderships, a recent report by Tata Trusts has statistically proven that these two states have the worst justice system in India.

The study, titled India Justice Report’, which Tata Trusts published on Thursday, developed an index of justice system across the country using four parameters police, prisons, judiciary and legal aid. An assessment of 18 bigger states revealed that UP and Bihar have the worst justice system in India. While UP ranked at the bottom of the list, Bihar stood at number 17.

On the basis of these parameters, a score was allotted to each state on a scale of 10. None of the states had the perfect score. UP and Bihar got a score of 3.32 and 4.02 respectively. Following them from the bottom were Jharkhand (4.3), Uttarakhand (4.49), Rajasthan (4.52) and Andhra Pradesh (4.77).

The state with the best justice system according to the report is Maharashtra with a score of 5.92. It is followed by Kerala (5.85), Tamil Nadu (5.76), Punjab (5.53) and Haryana (5.53).

The average score of all the bigger states turned out to be 4.95, which means more than 50 per cent conditions to get a perfect score for the justice system have not been met. In fact, of the 18 big states surveyed, 11 had a score of above 5.

Collectively, the data paints a grim picture. It highlights that each individual sub-system is starved for budgets, manpower and infrastructure; no state is fully compliant with the standards it has set for itself. Governments are content to create ad hoc and patchwork remedies to cure deeply embedded systemic failures. Inevitably, the burden of all this falls on the public, the report says.

Why UP, Bihar rank at the bottom

A deeper look at the statistics reveals that in almost every aspect, UP and Bihar exchanged the last and second last position.


The study took several factors to assess the police system in the states, ranging from modernisation, inducing women, diversity, budgeting, human resource planning and infrastructure.

On this front, the best score was achieved by Tamil Nadu 6.49. UP received a score of 2.98, whereas Bihar got 3.77. UP fared poor in terms of budgeting, spending on police per person, vacancies and diversity.


This parameter was assessed on various factors ranging from overcrowding, inclusion of women staff, adequate human resources, budgeting, infrastructure, etc.

Jharkhand fared the worst with a score of 3.46. It was followed by Uttarakhand (3.72), Punjab (4.35), Andhra Pradesh (4.35) and UP (4.42). Surprisingly, Bihar stood at number six with a score of 5.61. The best in this regard was Kerala with a score of 7.18.


This parameter was assessed on availability of judges, clearance of cases, spending on judiciary, etc.

Bihar, with a score of 2.41, fared the worst in this regard. It was followed by UP (3.7), Karnataka (3.76), Uttarakhand (4.17) and Jharkhand (4.3). Tamil Nadu again featured on the top in terms of judiciary with a score of 6.99. It was followed by Punjab (6.57), Haryana (6.23) and Maharashtra (5.96).

On an average, Bihar saw a bleak growth in expenditure on judiciary in comparison to total spending. From 2011 to 2016, the state expenditure rose by 17.8 per cent; however, expenditure on judiciary rose by only 8 per cent.

Legal aid

The report also highlighted the importance of legal aid. It said that almost 80 per cent of India’s 1.25-billion population is eligible for free legal aid, but only 15 million people have availed it since 1995.

Here too, the parameter was assessed on the basis of budgeting, human resources, diversity, infrastructure and work load. With a score of 2.5, UP fared worst, followed by Uttarakhand (4.46), Bihar (4.52) and Odisha (4.61).

14 die in rain-related incidents in Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh

Source: indiatoday.in

Fourteen people, including a minor, were killed in rain-related incidents in Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, while the Assam floods claimed one more life on Thursday.

The northern parts of the country received light to heavy rains, with the MeT Department saying rainfall activity has increased over central India, Northern Plains and Western Himalayan region since Wednesday.

Uttar Pradesh received traces of rainfall and state capital Lucknow recorded a high of 31.1 degrees Celsius on Thursday. However, nine people died in rain-related incidents across the state in the past three days. Meerut received 100.6 mm of rainfall, followed by Bareilly, which recorded 50.0 mm of rainfall.

Due to heavy rains recorded in parts of Rajasthan, three people, including a 15-year-old boy, were swept away in water in Shekhawati region. Parts of the state received rainfall from 7 cm to 15 cm. Didwana of Nagaur recorded 15 cm rainfall, followed by 13 cm each in Sadulpur, Bassi, Sikar, 11 cm each in Bhuhana and Phagi, 10 cm each Chirawa, Neem Ka Thana.

Three more deaths due to lightning strikes were reported in Jharkhand, taking the

death toll in the state to 15. On Wednesday, 12 people were killed by lightning in four districts of the state – six in Jamtara and two each in Dumka, Pakur and Ramgarh.

With the death of one more person, the toll in Assam floods reached 75 on Thursday as more than 34 lakh people remain affected by the deluge in 18 districts of the state, officials said.

Due to the release of excess water from the Kuricchu Hydropower reservoirs in Kuricchu River in Bhutan, western Assam districts of Barpeta, Nalbari, Baksa, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri and South Salmara are facing rise in flood water level. However, water level receded in some other districts of the state on Thursday.

In Bihar, no fresh deaths were reported as flood water entered state’s West Champaran, taking the total number of flood-hit districts in the state to 13. The death toll remained unchanged at 123. The state Disaster Management Department said relief and rehabilitation work was in full swing as 82.12 lakh people are affected by the deluge in 13 districts.

Light to heavy rains lashed most parts of Himachal Pradesh, dropping the maximum temperatures by several notches below normal limits on Thursday, the Meteorological (MeT) Department said.

In Punjab and Haryana, light to moderate rains lashed most places, plummeting the maximum temperatures between two to seven notches below normal in the region.

Narnaul received 54 mm of rainfall, followed by 16 mm in Amritsar, 14 mm in Ludhiana, 12.4 mm in Chandigarh, four mm in Ambala, two mm in Patiala and 0.5 mm in Hisar, it said here.

There was some respite for people from hot and humid weather in Kashmir as

heavy rainfall in lashed most parts of the Valley, even as the downpour affected normal life in Srinagar leading to waterlogging in many city roads.

The Mughal Road and the Doda-Kishtwar highway were closed for traffic due to landslides triggered by heavy rains in Jammu region.

However, in Delhi, vast stretches of the city remained dry, in a departure from the weather department’s forecast of ‘very heavy’ rains in the national capital. On Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department had issued a red alert warning for Delhi.

IMD officials said the weather stations at Palam, Lodhi Road, Ridge and Ayanagar recorded traces of rainfall. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for the city, recorded nil precipitation.

Several parts of Odisha were lashed by rains due to a cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal, giving much needed relief to the farmers hit by deficit rainfall.

UPSC prelims qualifiers to get free coaching, hostel, food, library in Rajasthan

Source: hindustantimes.com

Students qualifying the preliminary round of the Union Public Service Commission exam can now get free hostel, food, study material, coaching and library facilities as per a recent circular issued by the Rajasthan institute of cooperative education and management (RICEM). RICEM is a training institution promoted by the government of Rajasthan with a view to develop human resources in cooperative, public and private sectors.

As per the circular, the ‘Medhavi Sehkaari Sehyog Yojana’ is meant to benefit meritorious students who qualify UPSC prelims, but do not have favourable financial and family conditions.

A seven day window will be provided to students who have qualified the prelims to apply online and offline for procuring free hostel, food, study material, coaching and library facility provided by RICEM. Priority will be given to students hailing from below poverty line (BPL) families, specially abled, orphans, reserved categories and candidates who have given interviews before the UPSC or Rajasthan Public service commission (RPSC).

The procedure for application will go on for seven days and the scrutiny will be carried out in another two days said the circular. The application can be done offline at the RICEM office and online by sending the application along with all the documents at jaipurricem@gmail.com . Applicants can also avail further information at www.ricem.org.

The last date for application is July 27. Apart from personal details, the applicant is required to state any special reason as to why he should he/she be eligible for the freebies. The required documents to be enclosed for application include, documents of academic exams, bonafied, residence identity (AADHAR) and ITR (income tax returns) of parents along with the application.

IRCTC launches tour packages from Vizag to Rajasthan, Gaya and Thailand

Source: yovizag.com

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) has initiated special tour packages from Vizag to Rajasthan, Gaya, and Thailand. The tours will be conducted in the months of August and September to facilitate those looking to explore the aforementioned places.

Overall, the packages will include airfare, a visit to several famous tourist destinations, accommodation in 3-star hotels, breakfast and dinner as per itinerary and many other facilities.

Land of Royals- Rajasthan
The trip to Rajasthan has been organized in such a way that all the major tourist destinations, including Saheliyon ki Bari in Udaipur, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, the Dargah Sharif in Ajmer, and the Narangah Fort, will be covered. The 5-day trip will commence with a connecting flight to Rajasthan will departing from Vizag on 13 August. The tour will cover prominent sightseeing cities like Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur and the Shilpgram Village of arts and crafts. The trip will eventually end on 18 August with a flight returning to Vizag.

The package will cost Rs.36590 for single occupancy, Rs.30870 for double occupancy, Rs.29940 for triple occupancy, Rs.26545 for a child with a bed, Rs.22340 for a child without bed. The package includes a tour manager as well.

Gaya Pind Daan
IRCTC has also introduced tour packages to the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh covering 4 nights- 5 days stay in Patna, Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Sarnath, and Allahabad. Famous tourist destinations like the Mahabodhi Temple, Vishnu Padam Temple (also called the Pinda Pradanam), the Kal Bhairav Temple, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Patalpuri. Tourists will also get an opportunity to do the legendary Aarthi at the Ganga Ghats.

The package will cost Rs.31295 for single occupancy, Rs.23755 for double occupancy, Rs.23325 for triple occupancy and Rs.22090 for a child with a bed.

Treasures of Thailand
IRCTC will also be organising a tour from Vizag to Thailand. The trip begins on 15 August with a flight leaving Vizag at 12:10 am. The first day of the tour will witness a visit to Gems Gallery in Pattaya and an evening Alcazar show followed by a night stay in Pattaya. After breakfast, the tourists are expected to proceed to Coral Island and the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden. Food will be arranged at an Indian restaurant. Once in Bangkok, arrangements will be made to visit places like the Wat Traimit, Wat Pho, i.e. the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Safari World, Marine Park, etc.

The package will cost Rs.47141 for single occupancy, Rs.41535 for double occupancy, Rs.41535 for triple occupancy, Rs.39488 for a child with bed and Rs.31569 for a child without bed.

Politics of name and colour costs exchequer Rs 5.50 crore in Rajasthan

Source: newindianexpress.com

JAIPUR: Shakespeare has asked, “what’s in a name?” But politics over the name of two former PMs of the country, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Rajiv Gandhi, have come to haunt the people of Rajasthan financially. Gehlot Government had changed the name of Atal Seva Kendra to Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra again which now has cost the exchequer crores.

After coming to power, Gehlot Government had announced in January that government sewa centres at 9894 Gram panchayat and 295 Panchayat samitis will undergo a name change. At the time it was said that all the other Seva centres around the country have the name Rajiv Gandhi whereas the previous BJP government had unnecessarily changed the names in the state to Atal Seva Kendra.

Sources in the department say that around 2000 rupees have been spent per gram Panchayat and 5000 Rupees have been spent per Panchayat samiti. The total cost has come to 5.50 crore rupees.

Earlier between 2008 to 2013, Ashok Gehlot Government had kept the name of these centres as Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra which at that time had costed Rs 1.5 crore.

In 2013 when BJP government came to power the name was again changed to Atal Seva Kendra which costed 1 crore 85 lakh rupees. Currently, 2 crore rupees have been spent with the name changing back to Rajiv Gandhi from Atal. Sources also say that there is no separate provision made in the budget for this.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot had earlier said that both Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Rajiv Gandhi are Bharat Ratnas and they wanted to keep the names of both of them. ” We wanted the name to be Rajiv Gandhi Atal Seva Kendra. But the Supreme Court has said that in these programs no name can be added or subtracted. As such, in the law, the name is Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra. This is the reason why we had to keep that name”, he added.
BJP says that in comparison to Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee was a greater leader and it is not right to change his name. ” If they wanted to change the name, they should’ve done for other projects. This shows the amateurish behaviour of the Government. ” Said Vasudev Devnani, former Education minister in BJP government”

The names shouldn’t be changed with the changing of the Governments. To change the name of a popular leader like Atalji is unfortunate. If Atalji’s name had stayed, it would have saved the government money and started a new tradition as well.” Added Devnani

While the politics of name has increased the expenditure of the government, the politics of colour have saved some extra crores. The cycles given to the school going girls by the education department will now be painted black from the saffron colour, which will save 8.50 crore Rupees. In 2007, the BJP government had changed the colour to saffron. The change of colour to saffron and putting a basket in the front increases the cost of a bicycle by 200 to 300 rupees.

Not just the colour of the cycles but the name of the RSS idealogue Deendayal Upadhyaya has been removed from the scholarships given by the education board. In fact, his name has been removed from all previous paperwork in the Government which are now redundant and lakhs of rupees have been wasted due to this.

“BJP had made education an RSS propaganda laboratory. The coloured cycles saffron and made it expensive. Now they are coming out with baseless statements against us”, said Govind Singh Dotasara, State Minister of Education, Rajasthan.