Silver Jubilee of Pulse Polio Programme

UNICEF has long been a proud partner in this initiative — and a proud partner of India. We’ve been working here for 70 years, playing a small but important role in supporting India’s economic and social development over the decades. City: Delhi, State: Delhi, Country: India, Date 31st October 2019. UNICEF/INDIA/2019/PrashanthVishwanathan

“As we celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Pulse Polio Programme, it is time to now envision new dream of not letting even one child or pregnant woman die from Vaccine Preventable Disease (VPD)”: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0 Portal launched as Ministry of Health and Family Welfare celebrates Silver Jubilee of the Pulse Polio Programme

“As we mark and celebrate 25 years of the Pulse Polio Programme, it is now time to aim at 100% Full Immunization Coverage and ensure that not even one child or pregnant woman dies of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs)” said Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, here today. Oct 2nd, 2019 marked 25 years of the first Pulse Polio campaign in Delhi, which was later adopted and implemented by Government of India as Pulse Polio Campaign across the country. The implementation of Polio Supplementary Immunization Activity played a key role in India’s attainment of polio-free status in 2014. This achievement was coined by the WHO as “one of the most significant achievements in public health,” and marked not just India but the entire South East Asia Region being declared polio-free.

Shri. J.P Nadda former Health Minister was the Chief Guest of the event. He congratulated Dr. Harsh Vardhan, calling him the Chief Architect of the Polio Programme and commended the Health Ministry for the internationally successful and applauded Programme. Shri. Nadda said “As the health systems are robust and surveillance system of the country is very strong, I am very confident that Dr. Harsh Vardhan and his Ministry will achieve the full immunization coverage targets. The PHCs are being converted into Health & Wellness Centres (HWCs), which will ensure that in next 20 years the disease burden in the country is definitely going to decrease. I wish the Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 all the very best”. Sh. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare congratulated Dr. Harsh Vardhan calling him ‘Polio Senapati’ and his entire team and other stakeholders for their tremendous efforts to eliminate polio from the country. Sh Nadda encouraged all the health sector participants by telling them that their work and efforts do not show immediate results but it is these two drops and vaccinations that build a strong and healthy citizen in the long run, so they should continue working with same zeal and rigour to achieve Hon’ble Prime Minister’s dream of new and healthy India by 2022.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan talked about the new initiatives being taken by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to achieve the target of full immunization i.e. launch of Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0 from December 2019 to March 2020, wherein several ministries are coming forward to join hands in taking the mission forward. The IMI 2.0 portal, launched at the event, has been designed to capture information on the blockwise target of children and pregnant women to be vaccinated during the IMI drive and also the coverage data during the rounds of activity. The data will be entered at the district level. This will help the Programme officers and administrators at the block, district, state and national level to have real time information on the progress of the campaign and also take timely action on slow progress in any particular area.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan while reminiscing about the 25-year journey since the beginning of Pulse Polio Campaign thanked all the partners and stakeholders of the Pulse Polio Programme. He said “I laud the efforts of community and religious leaders who joined hands as advocates of this mission. I cheer for the efforts of the nation’s youth ambassadors, celebrities and sportsmen who supported in building the campaign. I salute the stalwarts of our country, our ASHA workers, ANMs, Anganwadi workers (AWW) who ensured all doors were knocked. I commend the uncompromised commitment and zeal of our state governments, civil society organizations, professional bodies like IMA, IAP, partners such as WHO, Rotary International and UNICEF and most importantly the support of citizens of our country”. Union health Minister added that the level of commitment, accountability and ownership seen in this Programme was unprecedented and has not been witnessed elsewhere in the world. Dr Harsh Vardhan then said that while we are keeping our guards up for polio, Government has opted for a ‘game changing approach’ towards sustaining the gains of immunization, ensuring a healthy and prosperous future for our country. He added that learnings from polio campaign have further provided guidance for rollout of Mission Indradhanush and its intensified drive under the mentorship of our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji. “Our visionary leader, Shri Narendra Modi ji has a dream of a healthy and robust India. It is our duty to contribute to this dream and ensure every child is vaccinated and grows up into a healthy citizen”. Dr. Harsh Vardhan concluded by calling upon all states, volunteers, partners, NGOs and other stakeholders to once again come forward and join hands to save every child from VPD, like they did for making India polio free”.

In 1988, the World Health Assembly (WHA) passed a resolution to launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). The Government of Delhi piloted the first ever large-scale supplementary immunization campaign with Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) in 1994 based on evidence of successful campaigns in other countries. This was when the “Pulse Polio” immunization campaign was born, followed by iconic ‘Do Boond Zindagi Ki’ tagline. On 2nd October 1994, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, the then Health Minister of Delhi, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, piloted the first Pulse Polio campaign in Delhi. The campaign in Delhi reached nearly 1.2 million children up to the age of three years with two doses of OPV being administered on 2nd October, 1994 and 4th December, 1994 through exclusive booth-based strategy. This strategy was later adopted and implemented by Government of India as Pulse Polio Campaigns. The polio eradication campaign brought together the government, international partners, civil society organizations, health workers, and millions of volunteers across the country. Through their dedication, India was able to overcome what had initially seemed like impossible hurdles and to stop the spread of this crippling disease.

The event kick-started with a video ‘Beginning of the Polio Journey’ to mark the journey of Polio eradication in India, documenting the implementation of first campaign. This was followed by Panel Discussion with the Pulse Polio Campaign Stalwarts (WHO, Rotary International, UNICEF) regarding strengthening immunization reach using learnings from Polio Campaign. This was followed by National Unity Day Pledge, to mark the occasion of Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Post the pledge, a session on sharing of experiences from the field pertaining to Pulse Polio Programme by Zonal Coordinator (Pulse Polio), and AWW was conducted. This concluded with a film on ‘Journey of Polio and Mission Indradhanush’ to showcase the journey of ending Polio in India, summarizing major interventions, achievements and milestones, contribution of community leaders, Health workers and achievements of Mission Indradhanush. Besides the addresses by WHO-SEARO Regional Director, UNICEF Executive Director and ex-President of Rotary International, the event also saw launch of two guidelines i.e. Operational guidelines for ‘Strengthening immunization systems to reach every child’ and ‘Operational guidelines for Strengthening Td10 and Td16 vaccine implementation’. The event ended with the administration of the ‘Immunization Pledge’ by Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

Present at the event were Shri. Ashiwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Shri. Devendra Kumar Joshi, Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Shri. Mangal Pandey, Health Minister of Bihar, Ms. Preeti Sudan, Health Secretary and other senior officers of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ms. Poonam Khetarpal Singh, Regional Director, WHO-SEARO, Ms. Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF, the MPs and MLAs who supported the Pulse Polio Programme and representatives of Rotary International and Development Partners – Dr. Sunil Behl, Dr. John Rhodes, Dr. Rajendra Saboo, Dr.John Andreas, Dr. S K Mittal.


T20 match Bangladesh can’t be cancelled

T20 match against Bangladesh can not be cancelled at last minute: Sourav Ganguly

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly today said the opening T20 match against Bangladesh can not be cancelled at the last minute despite deteriorating air quality in New Delhi.

BCCI President, however, dropped hints that North India venues may not be considered for matches after Diwali in future.

Talking to reporters at Eden Gardens in Kolkata today, the BCCI Chief said, it is not possible to cancel things at the last minute, because a lot of preparations go into matches like tickets, crowds everything. 


Shiva Thapa, Pooja Rani clinch gold, Ashish silver

Olympic Test Event Boxing: Shiva Thapa, Pooja Rani clinch gold, Ashish settles for silver

Indian pugilists Shiva Thapa and Pooja Rani today clinched gold medals, while Ashish settled for a silver, as India ended with a decent haul of seven medals at the Olympic Test Event for Boxing in Tokyo, Japan.

The other four medals, all bronze were bagged by Nikhat Zareen, Simranjeet Kaur,  Sumit Sangwan and Vahlimpuia in their respective weight categories.

Four-time Asian medallist Thapa outpunched Kazakhstan’s national champion and Asian bronze-winner Sanatali Toltayev 5-0 to claim the top honours in 63 kilogram category.

Former Asian Games bronze-medallist  Pooja Rani edged past Australia’s Caitlin Parker in 75 kilogram category to ensure that the Indian women’s contingent also had a gold in its kitty.

In 69 kilogram category, Ashish, however, lost to Japan’s Sewon Okazawa to sign off with a silver medal


ISA agreement sign 3 nation

Eritrea, Saint Kittis and Nevis have signed the International Solar Alliance’s (ISA) Framework Agreement at its second Assembly held in New Delhi. With this 83 countries have so far signed the ISA framework agreement.

Speaking at the Assembly of ISA, Minister of Power, New and  Renewable Energy R K Singh who is also the President of ISA, emphasized the increasing importance of solar energy. He said, this is very important in view of the climate change issues faced globally. He also elaborated the number of steps that India has taken to support the International Solar Alliance which India along France launched.

At the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to increase renewable energy capacity to 175 Giga Watt by 2022 and committed for further increasing it to 450 GigaWatt. 


Pakistan train Tezgam fire

Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid ordered for enquiry train inferno which was traveling from Karachi to Rawalpindi Tezgam Express

Three carriages of train engulfed in fire as one passenger was cooking with gas cylinder in Train.

Dr Yasmin Rashid health minister said nearly 75 passengers killed and forty injured.


Global Recession

China growth touch lowest in 30 years

US China trade has its impact with recession across globe has also taken toll in US economy to its lower growth.

Car Industry is badly affected and other industry too adversely affected bring streets on MSME.

However Industry look for an opportunity with merger and acquisition one such is FIAT Chrysler Peugeot to consolidate in transfer of Electric and other Green values.


Merkel visiting India

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on three day official visit to India

She will be meeting PM Modi hold discussion on several issue from economy to global security.

The two countries are trading to billions of dollar market with huge potential of buyers thus trade is important and technology well needed in high tech skill by India corporates in big way.


Sustainable Growth in South Asia


Panel Discussion| Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in South Asia
Monday, November 4th, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Brookings India, No. 6, Second Floor, Dr. Jose P. Rizal Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 

Dear Mr. Singh,

I am delighted to invite you for our next panel discussion on Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in South Asia with particular focus on India on the 4th of November, Monday, from 4:00 pm- 5:30 pm at Brookings India.


1.       Is South Asia ready for take-off? A sustainable and inclusive growth agenda:  South Asia is poised to play a key role in the global economy, in both relative and absolute terms, building on the steady economic progress and reform process over the last few decades. India is among the fastest-growing large economies, and South Asia’s contribution to global growth is set to increase, while more mature economies decelerate. With a population that has a median age under 27, South Asia is also the youngest region in Asia. This young and large workforce can be South Asia’s strength, if supported by a successful high-quality and job-rich growth strategy, leveraging all sectors of the economy in a balanced way. Although policy recommendations remain country-specific, for many South Asian economies these should include: further progress in revenue mobilisation and fiscal consolidation; greater trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) liberalisation; and investment in people.

Presenter’s Bio: Dr. Manuela Goretti is Deputy Division Chief in the Asia and Pacific Department of the International Monetary Fund. Since February 2018, she is the IMF mission chief for Sri Lanka. Before assuming this position, she was Advisor to the First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF. Prior to joining the Fund, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has a Ph.D. in Economics from Warwick University, UK.

2.       Reigniting growth in emerging market and low-income economies: What role for structural reforms? The pace of structural reforms in emerging markets and developing economies was strong during the 1990s, but it has slowed since the early 2000s. Using a newly constructed database on structural reforms, this paper finds that a reform push in such areas as governance, domestic and external finance, trade, and labour and product markets could deliver sizable output gains in the medium term. A major and comprehensive reform package might double the speed of convergence of the average emerging market and developing economy to the living standards of advanced economies, raising annual GDP growth by about one percentage point for some time.

Presenter’s Bio: Dr. Giovanni Melina is an economist in the Research Department of the IMF. Before joining the Fund, he worked as an Associate Professor of Macroeconomics at City University London, after obtaining a PhD in Economics from Birkbeck, University of London.


‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Parv’ 2019

@EBSB_MHRDFour-day long event Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Parv 2019 was inaugurated in New Delhi today. The event, which will run till Sunday, is being organized by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, KVS. The main objective of the event is to celebrate the unity in diversity and to promote the spirit of national integration through deep and structured engagement among all Indian states and Union Territories in a year-long planned engagement between states. 

This event is primarily showcasing the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and also promoting the communication & artistic skills of students. All the 25 regions of KVS are paired with a State different from their own State and also a Country. This gives them an opportunity to understand the art and culture of the paired states and the countries, through which people will imbibe mutual respect for different cultures. 

Speaking after inaugurating the event Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, through the vision of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, we have to take the nation to new horizon and students will have to play a major role in it. He said, we have to make India number one country in the field of knowledge and science. 


Hong Kong Joshua Wong disqualified

China disqualification of Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong from upcoming local elections

China today expressed approval and support for the disqualification of Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong from upcoming local elections, after months of protests in the semi-autonomous city. Wong, one of the most prominent figures in the otherwise leaderless movement, accused the Hong Kong Government of political screening after an election officer ruled his nomination for the November poll invalid on Tuesday.

But a Spokesman for China’s top policy body on Hong Kong Affairs has said that Wong had over many years proclaimed the viewpoints of so-called self-determination and publicly denied that Hong Kong is a part of China. He was the only candidate barred from standing in an election for district councils, which tackle regional issues. The election is the first to be held since the current anti-government protests started.

Last year, Agnes Chow, another young pro-democracy leader from Wong’s party, was barred from standing in by-elections because her party advocates self-determination for Hong Kong.