Sunday, February 10, 2013

Water once flowed on Mars

US space agency said on Saturday that Spaceship Curiosity used the drill at the end of its robotic arm to dig a tiny hole 1.6 centimeters across and 6.4 centimeters deep on the Martian surface.
Further said  the rover collected powder samples of crushed rock.;
Rover since its landing in August of last year,
Curiosity has found evidence that water once flowed on the planet Mars
Call for Action Summit on Child Survival and Development concludes with renewed commitment and pledges to prevent child mortality
The three day Call for Action on Child Survival and Development ended today with a call for renewing the promise towards further reducing U5MR in India. The Summit was held in the presence of Shri. GhulamNabi Azad, Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of Woman & Child Development at Mammallapuram, Tamil Nadu. 

The Summit also arrived at a set of agreed actions that will sustain the momentum and promote accountability in India’s journey towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals related to maternal and child mortality. 

Pledges for renewed commitment for ensuring health care continuum from child hood to motherhood through adolescence were given on the final day by prominent participants like Dr Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID, Smt Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, Dr.Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director UNFPA-HQ, Dr. Elizabeth Mason, Director- MNCH, WHO, Ms.Helen Evans, Deputy CEO, GAVI Alliance, Ms. Mariam Claeson, Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Over 60 national and international experts and 300 delegates participated in the summit.

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shri GhulamNabi Azad, who inaugurated the summit, announced an incentive programme for states performing well in the new born and under five children’s health and development initiatives. Significantly, he also cautioned that underperforming states would be dis-incentivised.

Smt Krishna Thirath, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, while chairing a session on Social Determinants of Child Survival, revealed that a maternity cash benefit scheme has been launched for empowering pregnant women and adolescent girls. She announced that a National Mission for Empowerment of Women has also been started.

Smt Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission pointed out that the narrowing of the rural – urban gap in child mortality in India is reflective of the improved equity in health care. She also said that the rate of decline of Under5 mortality rate was faster in India than the global average. She said that the Summit has been an opportunity for sharing experiences and celebrating successes in the area of maternal and child health.

Smt. Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF pointed out, in a pledge delivered on the final day of the Summit, that ultimately it is the citizens of a country who need to come forward and play an enormous role. “UNICEF will continue to support the Government of India in its effort to scale-up high-impact strategies and innovations through our country programme, with its focus on neonatal mortality, nutrition, sanitation, quality basic education and protecting children from the risks of child marriage, child labour and exploitation, focusing throughout on adolescents who represents the next generation that will lead to socio-economic change in India”.

In a video message to the summit, Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of USAID said "This is an extraordinary step, and it represents exactly the kind of
innovative, results-oriented, and country-led approach we need in order to
achieve incredible results together. I want to applaud the Government of
India’s commitment to serve children by establishing a continuum of
care—from addressing the health of mothers to infants to children to
adolescents. I encourage you to continue to work together and measure and report on results—including through national and state level report cards.”

Several strategy documents and operational guidelines were released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare during the Summit. These include Strategic Roadmap on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH +A), Maternal Health Toolkit, guidelines for pre-service nursing and midwifery education, infant and young child feeding practices, child health screening and early intervention service and the National Iron plus initiative.

Improving accountability and transparency through a National Child Survival Score Card, an innovative Dashboard for tracking progress, Supportive Supervision Model, Child health screening and early intervention processes, Newborn Health – Continuum of care, MDG and beyond, prevention of diarrhea and pneumonia, social determinants of child survival, role of communication in child survival, partnership and leadership dialogue were some of the core themes discussed during the three day summit.

Pledges for the call to Action for Child Survival came from diverse sectors including the Civil Society and Faith based organizations, Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and prominent public personalities like actors Priyanka Chopra, Sharmila Tagore and Aamir Khan.

UNICEF, WHO and the GAVI Alliance presented a token of recognition to the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare to recognize and celebrate the completion of two years of polio- free India.

The Summit, organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in partnership with the UNICEF and USAID, was a follow up of the ‘Global Child Survival Call to Action: A Promise to Keep’ Summit in Washington DC in June 2012, co convened by India, Ethiopia and the USA.

Kind regards,

Sonia Sarkar
Communication Officer (Media)
India Country Office
73 Lodi Estate
New Delhi 110016, India

In order to give a boost to Community Radio in India and to promote the local culture, Information and Broadcasting Ministry is in the course of setting up single window clearance community radios.

After inaugurating the 3rd National Community Radio Conference in New Delhi, I & B Secretary Uday Kumar Varma said there could be no other better medium to protect, promote, and preserve local culture than Community Radio.
He concluded that if general consensus arises then the All India Radio news can be allowed to be aired on Community Radio.

Mauni Amavasya holy dip at Mahakumbh

Mauni Amavasya the second holy dip begins wee hours today at  5.15 AM  at bank of holy confluence of tri rivers in Allahabad.  More than forty millions devotees across the world has reached the celebrated city taken bath, the unique and of its kind the holy gathering  enjoying the eternal time sacred place and religious fervour. A dip of faith for billions with embedded dedication holy sight of religious rituals to follow is ultimate delight of sacredness to mingle with eternity in physical  form.A Congregation of humanity of its kind in the world ,a connecting force for all human being to be in touch with Ultimate reality without any cult or creed.  For Leo sign with its best and excellent occasion for Pisces,Cancer, Libra sign the prosperity and peace is imminent. Mauni Amavasya make stellar  constellation combination  is great moment for all human being to catch this  sacred and spiritual time for holy dip at holy place. People across the world ranging from spiritual to materialistic world celebrity and commoner throng at MahaKumbh for the holy bath to banish their sin and purify their body,mind and soul.

On the auspicious bathing day of Mauni Amavasya today, a large number of devotees have been gathered at the ongoing Maha Kumbh congregation at the holy Sangam in Allahabad.

Devotees, including women and children, had started taking a dip since late night.
Around three crore devotees are expected to take a holy dip today.
The day marks the second Shahi snan (royal bath) of this mela; the first was the Makar Sankranti snan on 14th January.
The Mauni Amavasya is considered the most auspicious of all the bathing days and is by far the biggest.
Mauni is derived from the word Muni, literally meaning an ascetic who practices silence.
Twenty-two ghats, spread across 14 sectors, including 12 on the north of the Ganga and with a total length of 18,000 feet, are in place for the snan.
The Shaivaite akharas, beginning with the Maha Nirvani and Atal Akharas would be the first to move towards the Sangam ghat in the early hours of Sunday.
They would be followed by the Niranjani, Anand, Juna, Awahan and Agni akharas.
The Vairagi akharas come next with the Nirmohi, Digambar Ani and Nirvani Ani akharas queueing up, and then the two Udasin Akharas, the Naya Udasin Panchayati and the Bada Udasin Panchayati akharas.
The Nirmala akhara will bring to a close the Shahi snan, which is scheduled to start at 6.15 a.m. and expected to last till 5 p.m.
The akharas have been allotted 30 minutes to 1 hour for the holy dip.
Tight security arrangements
Tight security arrangements have been put in place to tackle law and order problem and prevent stampedes and thwart any terrorist activity.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police (Kumbh Mela), R K S Rathore, commandos of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Anti-Terrorism Squad have been deployed in sufficient strength at the sprawling Kumbh area of about 6,000 acres.
They will be assisted by more than 5,000 policemen drawn in from various parts of Uttar Pradesh and 4,000 personnel of Provincial Armed Constabulary.
Dog squads and bomb disposal squads have also been pressed into service, while watch towers have been established at various points from where security personnel will be having a bird's eye view while remaining in touch with control rooms for necessary action.
CCTV cameras have also been placed at various places to keep a tab on the movements of the people.
Vehicular traffic has been banned since this morning in the Kumbh area where a SP, an ASP, three Deputy SPs, five Traffic Inspectors, 10 Traffic sub-inspectors and 200 Traffic Constables have been deployed to take care of crowd management.
According to Kumbh Mela Officer Mani Prasad Mishra, "an appeal has been issued to all VIPs to either refrain from visiting the congregation, or if they must do so, not to expect the special security arrangements which are made available on normal days."

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