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Knowhow of economical & environment-friendly saline gargle RT-PCR technique transferred to MSME Ministry


In a notable step forward in India’s fight against COVID-19, Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has transferred the know-how of indigenously developed Saline Gargle RT-PCR technique, used for testing COVID-19 samples. The Saline Gargle RT-PCR technology is simple, fast, cost-effective, patient-friendly and comfortable; it also provides instant test results and is well-suited for rural and tribal areas, given minimal infrastructure requirements. 

CSIR-NEERI stated that the innovation developed by the institute has been ‘dedicated to the nation’ to serve the society. The knowhow has been transferred to the Union Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), on a non-exclusive basis. This would enable the innovation to be commercialized and licensed to all capable parties, including private, government and various rural development schemes and departments.
The licensees are expected to set up manufacturing facilities for commercial production in the form of easily usable compact kits. In the light of the prevailing pandemic situation and probable third wave of COVID-19, CSIR-NEERI fast-tracked the know-how transfer process to potential licensees for its wider dissemination across the nation. 
The ceremonial transfer of the Standard Operating Procedure and Know-How of the Saline Gargle RT-PCR technique was done in the presence of Union Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari yesterday, 11th September 2021.

On the occasion, the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways said: “The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method needs implementation across the nation, especially in resource-poor regions like rural and tribal areas. This would result in faster and more citizen-friendly testing and will strengthen our fight against the pandemic. The MSME unit had approached CSIR-NEERI for commercializing the Saline Gargle RT-PCR technology developed by CSIR-NEERI. 
The principal inventor of Saline Gargle RT-PCR technology is NEERI scientist Dr. Krishna Khairnar and the team of research scholars of Environmental Virology, at CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur. 

Scientist and Head, EVC, CSIR-NEERI (Innovator of Saline Gargle RT-PCR), Dr Krishna Khairnar; Director, CSIR-NEERI, Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar; Chairman, Technology Transfer, CSIR-NEERI, Dr Atul Vaidya; MSME Unit Director, Rajesh Daga and MSME Unit Director, Kamlesh Daga were also present during the transfer of know-how to MSME Unit.

Source: PIB

Centre enhances financial support to open Ayush colleges from Rs 9 cr to Rs 70 cr


The Central government has increased the financial support from Rs nine crore to Rs 70 crore to ensure more Ayush colleges are opened across the country, Union Minister for Ayush and Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, said on Saturday. The Minister was addressing a conference on ‘Diverse and Fulfilling Career Paths in Ayush Systems: Education, Entrepreneurship & Employment Focus on North eastern States’ in Guwahati.

The Union minister said that there are only a few Ayush colleges in the North-East and the Indian traditional medicine systems can only be popularised by making available more qualified practitioners.

“For this purpose, more Ayush teaching colleges may be required to come up in the North East States. Earlier under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Ayush Mission provided financial support of Rs.9 crores to state governments to open new Ayush colleges. Now, the Government of India has enhanced this amount to Rs.70 crore. States may identify the land and manpower for this purpose and avail this opportunity as per the guidelines of the NAM,” Sonowal said.

Sonowal added that the Ministry of Ayush has also accorded in-principle approval for upgrading the Government Ayurvedic College, Jalukbari, Assam as the Centre of Excellence with the support of up to Rs 10 crore. He said that his Ministry provides Rs. 5 crore to upgrade the under-graduate teaching colleges and Rs. 6 crores to improve the infrastructure of post graduate institutions.

The minister also announced the starting of a Panchkarma Technician course affiliated to Health Sector Skill Council – National Skill Development Corporation at Central Ayurveda Research Institute (CARI), Guwahati with 10 seats for 10+2 students to produce skilled manpower for Panchkarma therapy in NE region and enhance the employment opportunities in that part of the country.

“Career opportunities in the Ayush sector for professionals of all disciplines have increased dramatically during recent years. Moreover, consequent to these efforts, faith in the Ayush cesystems has been restored among communities worldwide,” Sonowal said. He added that Ayush has a great potential to cater to a large number of healthcare needs of people and contribute to the growth and development of this country.

Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Science & Technology and Information & Broadcasting in the Government of Assam, Keshab Mahanta, was the guest of honour at the conference.

The Ministry of Ayush had earlier this month successfully held a landmark conference of Ayush ministers of all north-eastern states and deliberated upon the developing the infrastructure for popularizing Ayush stream in the region. Today’s conference was the next step with experts discussing the education and career opportunities in Ayush.

The presentation on ‘Career Opportunities, Education in Ayurveda’ was made by Vaidya Jayant Yeshwant Deopujari, Chairperson of National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM). It was followed by session on Career opportunity and Exploration of Potential of Ayush in North Eastern States. In this session, Prof. Sanjeev Sharma, Director, National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur gave a lecture on ‘Education & Career Opportunities in Ayurveda in North Eastern States’ and Dr. N. Srikanth, Director General, CCRAS, New Delhi spoke on ‘Research & Development in North Eastern States India’.

There was a special address by Mrs. Indrani Mahto, Manager, Startup India, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, on ‘Entrepreneurship in Ayush sector ‘Start Up’.

Lecture on ‘Career Opportunities in Homeopathy; Industrial Perspective in North Eastern States’ was given by Dr. Subhas Singh, Director, NIH, Kolkata; lecture on ‘Career Opportunities Education in Homeopathy in North Eastern States was given by Dr. Tarkeshwar Jain, Secretary, NCH, New Delhi and ‘Research & Development and Public Health in North East India’ was given by Dr. Subhash Chaudhary, NIH, Kolkata.

Similarly, a lecture on ‘Research Education and Career Opportunity in Unani’ was given by Prof. Asim Ali Khan, Director General, CCRUM, New Delhi; on ‘Research Education and Career Opportunity in Siddha’ was given by Prof. Dr. K. Kanakavalli, Director General, CCRS, Chennai; on ‘Research Education and Career Opportunity in Sowa-Rigpa’ by Dr. Padma Gurmeet, Director, NRIS, Leh and ‘Research Education and Career Opportunity in Yoga & Naturopathy’ was given by Dr. Raghvendra Rao, Director, Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, New Delhi. This session is followed by presentation of representatives of Ayush Industries on ‘Career opportunity & Entrepreneurship: Industry perspective’ which followed Interactive Session with Ayush Students and Scholars from different areas of North eastern states.

About 250 participants, including the officials from the Ministry of Ayush, Ayush Institutes and Research Councils and Ayush Colleges in NE States attended the conference.

Source: PIB

On 100th Punyatithi of great Tamil Poet, ‘Subramania Bharati Chair’ on Tamil Studies in BHU, Varanasi announced by PM


Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the Lokarpan of Sardardham Bhavan and Bhoomi Pujan of Sardardham Phase – II Kanya Chhatralaya via video conferencing. The CM and Deputy CM of Gujarat were also present on the occasion.

The Prime Minister expressed happiness that the commencement of Sardar Dham Bhawan is happening on the occasion of Ganeshotsav. He wished everyone for Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganeshotsav and Rishi Panchami and kshamavani Divas. He lauded all the members associated with Sardar Dham Trust for their dedication to the service of humanity. He admired their emphasis on the empowerment of the youth of the Patidar society as well as the poor and especially women.

Addressing the event, the Prime Minister said the Hostel facility being inaugurated today will also help so many girls to come forward. He said that the state of the art building, girls hostel and modern library will empower the youth. The Entrepreneurship Development Centre  will enrich the strong business identity of Gujarat and the Civil Service Centre will give new direction to the youth interested in careers in civil, defence and judicial services. He said that Sardar Dham will not only become an establishment for building the future of the country, but also inspire the future generations to live the ideals of Sardar Saheb.

He remarked today, September 11th, is a date in the history of the world that is known to have struck humanity. But this date also taught a lot to the whole world! A century ago it was on September 11, 1893, when the World Parliament of Religions was held in Chicago. He added that on this day, Swami Vivekananda stood on that global stage and introduced the world to the human values ​​of India. Today the world is realizing that tragedies like 9/11 will have a permanent solution, only through these humanitarian values.

The Prime Minister said that today September 11th is another big occasion – the 100th death anniversary of India’s great scholar, philosopher and freedom fighter ‘Subramania Bharati’. The philosophy of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat envisioned by Sardar Saheb has been shining with full divinity in the Tamil writings of Mahakavi Bharati. He noted that Subramania Bharati drew inspiration from Swami Vivekananda and was influenced by Sri Aurobindo. Bharati gave a new direction to his thoughts and new energy while living in Kashi. The Prime Minister announced the establishment of a chair in the name of ‘Subramania Bharati ji in Banaras Hindu University. He said the ‘Subramania Bharati Chair’ on Tamil Studies would be established in the Faculty of Arts of BHU. Th e Prime Minister added that Subramania Bharti ji always laid special emphasis on the unity of mankind and the unity of India. His ideals are an integral part of India’s thought and philosophy.

The Prime Minister said Gujarat has been a land of collective efforts from the past till today. He said Gandhiji started the Dandi Yatra from here, which is still a symbol of the collective efforts of the country in the freedom struggle. Similarly, in the Kheda movement, under the leadership of Sardar Patel, the unity of farmers, youth and poor forced the British government to capitulate. He remarked that inspiration, that energy is still standing in front of us in the form of ‘Statue of Unity’, a skyscraper statue of Sardar Sahib on the soil of Gujarat.

The Prime Minister said continuous efforts are being made to bring forward those sections of the society who have been left behind. He said that today, on one hand, work is being done for the rights of Dalits and the socially backward, on the other hand 10% reservation has been given to those who are economically backward.These efforts are creating a new confidence in society, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister remarked that National Education Policy will prepare students for the skills demanded from our youth in the market in future from the very beginning. He said the ‘Skill India Mission’ is also a big priority for the country. Under this mission lakhs of youth have got the opportunity to learn different skills and are becoming independent. Under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme the students are getting the opportunity to increase their income along with honing their skills under skill development. He added that as a result of continuous efforts of many years that in Gujarat today where on one side school dropout rate has decreased to less than 1 percent, and at the same time, lakhs of youths have been provided a new future through different schemes. He said today the talent of Gujarat’s youth is getting a new ecosystem through a campaign like Startup India.

The Prime Minister praised the Patidar society, saying they give a new identity to the business wherever they go. ‘This skill of yours is now being recognized not only in Gujarat and the country, but all over the world’ he said. He added that there is another great feature of Patidar society, wherever they may be, the interest of India is paramount for them.

The Prime Minister said that the pandemic affected India but our recovery is faster than the damage. India was in reform mode when big economies were in defensive mode. When global supply chains were being disrupted, we were launching  PLI schemes to turn the tide in India’s favour, said the Prime Minister. He said that recently launched PLI in Textiles will greatly benefit cities like Surat.

Source: PIB

Secretary Food and Public distribution meets with state officials today to ensure relief to consumers on prices of edible oil


In a move to check the unfair practices and to bring transparency in the availability of edible oils, Secretary Food and Public Distribution today met with state officials.  The move is expected to bring relief to consumers on prices of edible oil front as the new stock disclosure norms and better monitoring would deter unfair practices and hoarding etc.

In this regard, Centre has asked States to take disclosures of stock of edible oilseeds and oils with the millers and stockist to check the unfair practices of any kind and to bring transparency in the availability of edible oils.

In an interaction with the media, the Secretary said that the production of oilseeds is expected to increase in coming Rabi season. This is also expected to bring down the prices of edible oils.

Stockists, Millers are now expected to disclose the stock of edible oilseeds and oils and submit the data on a portal for transparency and better monitoring.

Stockists and Millers would also need to display the prices of edible oil at the premises.

Source: PIB

Improved water mngt. system developed can treat toxic textile effluents facilitating its reuse in households and industry


Indian researchers have developed an improved wastewater treatment solution that can completely reuse industrial dye wastewater from textile industry, eliminating its toxicity and making it suitable for domestic and industrial usage. It can reduce water treatment costs and facilitate the reuse of the water in dry regions.

The current 3-stage treatment process for wastewater consisting of primary, secondary, and tertiary treatment is unable to treat toxic industrial wastewater. The stand-alone AOP treatment technique for colour and odour properties in industrial effluents (dye-based) may be insufficient to meet set government standards and is also limited due to the high cost of AOPs involving continuous supply of chemical reagents. This is because it cannot remove the synthetic industrial dyes and the effervescent colour and odour, which have a long-lasting carcinogenic and toxic effect on the ecological and especially aquatic life. In order to remove this toxicity, an upgraded solution with the Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) technology is the need of the day.

Working towards this, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur with Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur and MBM College Jodhpur have developed a modified AOP solution. This completely modified treatment process consists of the primary dosing step followed by the sand filtration step, another AOP and subsequent carbon filtration step. It eliminates the need for the conventional primary, secondary, and tertiary processes resulting in maximum colour removal and meets the inland water discharge standards.

Department of Science and Technology (DST) Government of India (GoI) – Water Technology Initiative (WTI), along with the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), supported the development of this technology at a pilot level in collaboration with Laxmi Textile Prints, Jaipur for the commissioning of this pilot-scale plant at Textile Industrial Park, Jaipur.

The much-improved Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) technology targeting zero discharge water management system is being utilized for the complete reuse of industrial dye wastewater for domestic and industrial usage at a rate of 10 Kilo litres /day. The treatment of toxic and highly carcinogenic industrial dyes of textile effluents is performed using this AOP technology for degrading and mineralizing recalcitrant organic matter from effluent wastewater.

It is a direct replacement of the existing treatment plant processes and consists of a low-cost solution of dye adsorption on acid-modified soil followed by a photochemical reaction step within a photocatalytic visible light filter and a unique carbon and PAN nano-mat fibre filtration process. Having been set up on a pilot basis, it remediates industrial wastewater.

The technology has resulted in the recuperation of 50% of the treatment cost incurred from conventional processes for water treatment (especially due to the high cost of sludge disposability) in the water-scarce regions of Rajasthan. Further, scaling up of this plant to 100 Kilo litres /day capacity to meet the current industrial requirement is underway with automated plant operations.

For details Dr. Shantanu Bhattacharya, IIT Kanpur, bhattacs@iitk.ac.in can be contacted.


Fig: Change of Color of effluents post multiple treatment steps

Source: PIB

Renewable energy & energy efficiency are among the key pillars of Indian climate change strategies: Minister


Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav held a meeting with H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Climate Envoy and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology virtually today and discussed issues relating to COP 26, renewable energy and such matters.

Stating that renewable energy and energy efficiency are among the key pillars of Indian climate change strategies, Shri Yadav mentioned that under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, India has worked to make sure that renewable energy, particularly solar, becomes cheaper than energy from fossil fuels. 

At a high-level interaction with UAE Climate envoy His Excellency Dr Sultan Al Jaber stated that India attaches great value to its bilateral partnership with the UAE in all areas including combating climate change. pic.twitter.com/8OOOlFsZb0— Bhupender Yadav (@byadavbjp) September 8, 2021

The Minister further mentioned that India has already installed about 151GW of non-fossil fuel installed capacity with 39 percent of the total capacity installed and going ahead, India has declared an aspirational target of installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030. 

The Environment Minister also mentioned about India’s Hydrogen Energy Mission, global initiatives such as International Solar Alliance (ISA), Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and leadership group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) and underlined the need for prioritizing the concerns of developing countries, particularly in areas of implementation support including finance and technology 

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Climate Envoy and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology sought support of India for the UAE Initiative on Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM-C) along with US and UK to be launched at COP26 to be held in Glasgow later this year.

Source: PIB

Minister dedicates first functional smog tower of India, situated at Anand Vihar


NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav has asked all stakeholders including the citizens to sincerely and earnestly contribute to achieve cleaner air and healthier lives for all.

The Union Minister, who was speaking at an event in New Delhi today to mark the second International Day of clean Air For Blue Skies, stated that the Central Government has launched several initiatives to improve air quality in the entire country, with the Prime Minister himself setting a goal for holistic improvement in air quality in more than 100 cities. “86 cities showed better air quality in 2019 in comparison to 2018, which increased to 104 cities in 2020”, informed the Environment Minister.

The Minister said that the Government under the leadership of the Prime Minister is now actively linking all policy approaches to give paramount importance to conserve public goods like water, air and Earth.


Yadav on the occasion virtually inaugurated the first functional smog tower in India at Anand Vihar, Delhi and expressed hope that the pilot smog tower project will yield fruitful results and supplement the air quality improvement efforts .A smog tower is a structure designed as large/medium scale air purifiers to reduce air pollution, usually by forcing the air through filters.

The smog tower at Anand Vihar with a height of over 20m, is of downdraft type, i.e. polluted air comes in from the top of the tower and clean air comes out of the bottom is intended for localised reduction in air pollution (Particulate Matter). The filtration system used in the tower has been designed by University of Minnesota with an expected efficiency of 90%. 40 fan units have been installed to provide a design airflow rate of 1000 m3/sec. The tower has been built by Tata Projects Limited with NBCC (India) Ltd. as the project management consultant.


The event also witnessed launch of a portal named “PRANA” – Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in Non-Attainment citiesunder the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are implementing National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in the country since 2019 with targets to achieve 20 to 30 % reduction in Particulate Matter(PM10 and PM2.5  ) concentrations by 2024 across the country.


City-specific action plans for improving air quality for 132 Non- attainment cities (NACs)/Million Plus Cities (MPC) targeting city specific air polluting sources (Soil & Road Dust, Vehicles, Domestic Fuel, MSW Burning, Construction Material and Industries) have been prepared and are already being implemented. The portal (prana.cpcb.gov.in) will support tracking of physical as well as financial status of city air action plan implementation and disseminate information on air quality to public.

So far, 375.44 crores have been released to 114 cities during FY 2019-20 & 2020-21 for initiating actions under city action plan. Further, 4400 cores have been released to 42 cities with million plus population as per recommendations of 15th Finance Commission report for FY 2020-21. This is in addition to funds available through various Central and State government schemes.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Choubey while addressing the event said that Clean Air is intricately linked to a host of benefits for the human being and gave the slogan “Swachh Pawan, Neel Gagan”, emphasizing that for a Blue Skies we need to work towards making the air clean and stressed on adoption of sustainable lifestyle for all.

The event was also attended by Payden, Deputy WHO Representative who lauded India’s efforts on tackling Air Pollution and its leadership role on Climate Change. Dr. Antje C. Berger, Counsellor, Climate and Environment, Embassy of the German Federal Republic of Germany who also addressed the event said that technological solutions play a key role in mitigating the Environment Challenges that the world faces today.

Atul Bagai, Head of Country Office, UNEP India, Tanmay Kumar, Chairman, CPCB and various officials of the Ministry, ministers from states, mayors of cities and officials involved in the implementation of National Clean Air Programme at city level also participated in the hybrid event.

Source: PIB

India Post Payments Bank, LIC Housing Finance announces strategic partnership for offering home loan products


India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) under Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications and LIC Housing Finance Ltd (LICHFL), the country’s premier housing finance player, today announced a strategic partnership for providing home loan products to over 4.5 crore customers of IPPB. Through its robust and extensive network of 650 branches and more than 136,000 banking access points, IPPB will make LICHFL’s home loan products accessible to its customers pan-India.

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding,credit underwriting, processing, and disbursement for all home loans will be handled by LICHFL with IPPB responsible for sourcing. The alliance with LICHFL is part of IPPB’s strategy to expand its range of products and services, and to cater to the banking and financial needs of diverse customers, especially unbanked and underserved, across the country. Currently, IPPB is distributing various general and life insurance products through partnerships with leading insurance companies, and credit products is a natural extension for the customers at the last mile. IPPB’s on-ground workforce of nearly 200,000 postal employees (Postmen and GraminDakSevaks) equipped with micro-ATMs and biometric devices through its innovative Doorstep Banking Service will play a significant role in offering LICHFL’s housing loans.

On the significance of the tie-up with LICHFL, J. Venkatramu, MD & CEO, India Post Payments Bank said, “Easy access to credit for buying a house is an important prerequisite towards achieving inclusive growth. Since its inception till now and going forward, IPPB is committed towards promoting financial inclusion among low-income and underbanked segments at the last mile by leveraging the unparalleled network of Post Offices, and technology-driven banking solutions. The partnership with LICHFL is a significant tie-up in IPPB’s journey to become one of the largest platforms for availing credit products by our customers for meeting various needs, in line with our focus on providing comprehensive customer-centric, convenient and digital solutions to our customers.”

Commenting on the partnership with IPPB, Y. ViswanathaGowd, MD & CEO, LIC Housing Finance said,“The strategic MoU with IPPB will help us to further deepen our market penetration and enable us to increase LICHFL’s home loan product outreach in untapped geographies across the country. With an unmatchable presence of Post Offices, we see this strategic partnership as a significant step that will help our long-term business growth and improve our market share. This is in line with the Company’s objective to increase business contribution from Tier 2 markets and beyond.”

LIC Housing Finance Ltd, offers home loan starting from 6.66% for loans up to Rs 50 lakh for salaried individuals. The rate of interest offered is linked to the borrower’s creditworthiness, as reflected by their CIBIL scores.

LICHFL’s unique home loan product – GrihaVarishtha– is designed for retired or serving employees of PSU insurers, Central/State government, railways, defence, banks etc. entitled to pension under Defined Benefit Pension Scheme. The age of the borrower at entry of the loan can be up to 65 years and the loan tenure is till the attainment of 80 years of age or maximum up to 30 years, whichever is earlier. Under this product LIC HFL offers EMI waiver of up to 6 EMIs during the tenure of the loan to the borrower.

Source: PIB

Indian Railways’ new 3AC Economy coach begins its services in Train No. 02403 Prayagraj- Jaipur Express today


Indian Railways has always been committed to the convenient travel of its passengers by developing coaches with improved passenger friendly features. The new entrant to this developmental journey of Indian Railways is AC Three Tier Economy Class Coach. The new coach has started to offer its service from today.  First time, the coach has been attached to Train No.02403 Prayagraj- Jaipur Express. The new AC Economy coach has 83 berths as compared to 72 berths in 3AC Coach. Also, the fare structure for this coach is 8% lesser than 3AC Coach.

Soon, two more trains, Train No. 02429/02430 New Delhi-Lucknow AC special and Train No. 02229/02230 Lucknow Mail will be augmented with this new 3AC Economy coach.  Initially, 50 new Economy coaches manufactured by Rail Coach Factory, Kaputhala, are ready to offer services in Mail/Express trains over different zones.

Provision of entry into the coach and disabled friendly toilet in a wheel chair has been made, which is a new initiative.

Several design improvements have also been made for improving passenger comfort. Redesign of the AC ducting has been made by providing individual vents for all berths. Improved and modular design of seats and berths have been made to improve comfort, reduce weight of the coach and improve maintenance friendliness.

Improved passenger conveniences has been ensured in form of foldable snack tables in both longitudinal and transverse bays, injury free spaces and holders for water bottles, mobile phone. Individual reading lights and USB charging points are provided for each berth. A new ergonomically improved design of ladder for accessing the middle and upper berths has been provided too. There is a increased headroom in the middle and upper berths.

The toilet area has improved design of the Indian and the Western style lavatories. Public address and passenger information systems have also been installed as a part of passenger facilities in these coaches.

Ambience and ease of access into coach has been improved by aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic entrance. The interior of the coach has luminescent aisle markers, illuminated berth indicators integral with night lights with luminescent berth numbers.
There is also improved fire safety by ensuring compliance to world benchmark of EN45545-2 HL3 for materials, thus meeting the high requirements of the new fire protection standard.


*     Berth capacity increased from 72 to 83.

*     Improved and modular design of seats and berth.

*     Foldable snack tables in both longitudinal and transverse bays.

*     Individual AC vents for each berth.

*     Wider toilet door and entrance door for Divyangjan in each coach.

*     Individual reading lamp and USB charging points for each berth.

*     Increased headroom for both middle and upper berths.

*     Public address and passenger information systems.

*     Improving fire safety by using material in compliance with EN45545- 2HL3, the global benchmark for fire safety.

*     CCTV Camera.

* Improved design of ladder for accessing the upper and middle berths.

Source: PIB

Case of Nipah virus detected in Kozhikode district of Kerala


A suspected case of NIPAH, a 12 yr old boy who presented with features of encephalitis and myocarditis was reported on 3rd September, 2021 from Kozhikode district of Kerala. 
The virus is spread by saliva of fruit bats. The boy was hospitalized and has passed away today morning. 
The Central Government has rushed a team of NCDC to the State, which will be reaching today. The team will provide technical support to the State.

The following immediate public health measures have been advised by the Centre:

1. Active case search in the family, families, village and areas with similar topography (especially Malappuram).
2. Active contact tracing (for any contacts) during past 12 days.
3. Strict quarantine of the contacts and isolation of any suspects.
4. Collection and transportation of samples for lab testing.

It may be recalled that in 2018 also, there was a Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala.

Source: PIB

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