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Bio-Degradable Sanitary Pads to be Available at 8,000 Railway Stations



Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said he wants to run a campaign, ensuring that all women are provided with the benefit of bio-degradable sanitary pads in rural areas.

“We should run a campaign across the country to ensure all women get the benefit of such pads. We have to get economies of scale. We should produce these on a large scale and instead of the expensive pads produced by big companies; women can get it for Rs 1-Rs 1.5,” said Goyal.

Goyal was attending the event and was speaking on the ‘Relevance of Economic Philosophy of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in Today’s World’ as part of the RSS ideologue’s birth centenary celebrations.

Speaking on the campaign, Goyal asserted that he wanted to run a campaign to ensure that every woman in India had access to sanitary pads.

“I have started speaking with Manekaji (Maneka Gandhi) on the issue,” he said. The Railway Minister also said that he was exploring the possibility of facilitating manufacturing units for cheap and bio-degradable sanitary pads at 8,000 railway stations of the country. “The railways will help as much as possible, be it providing manufacturing facility on railway stations…such pads can be manufactured on 8,000 locations,” he said.

Goyal further emphasised that self-help groups can manufacture such pads. “Women themselves can make them in hygienic conditions. Railway stations have terraces where they can work. Machines used for the purpose are also not that expensive,” he added.

Goyal also said the aim should be to provide women with a benefit for Rs 100 annually. “Even if there are three women in the house, the expense is 80 paisa per day for this. Most households will be able to afford it,” he said.

On February 20, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi launched a menstrual hygiene campaign. The objective of the campaign called “#Yes I Bleed” is to create a holistic approach to the issue of menstruation, which is an experience that transcends culture, class, and caste.

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Digital Transactions in India to Cross $1 Trillion a Year by 2025



Demonetisation and cashless drive has pushed the growth trajectory of digital payments in India significantly, and by 2025, digital transactions in the country could be worth USD 1 trillion annually, says a report.

According to a white paper by ACI Worldwide along with AGS Transact Technologies (AGSTTL), digital transactions in India could be worth USD 1 trillion annually by 2025, with four out of every five transactions being made digitally.

“The user base for digital transactions in India is currently close to 90 million, but could triple to 300 million by 2020 as new users from rural and semi-urban areas enter the market”.

“Flexible, scalable and reliable technology will be critical to the future of payments in India as the market continues to experience incredible growth,” said Manish Patel, Vice President, ACI Worldwide.

Meanwhile, with the rise in digital payments, cybersecurity costs for companies in India is also rising.

Mahesh Patel, Group Chief Technology Officer, AGS Transact Technologies said, “we understand that rapid rise in internet users nationwide is spurring an increase in digital transactions. However, the Indian market unlike many western nations is still to mature and remains threatened due to lower awareness levels”.

As per the report, Cyber attacks cost India an estimated USD 4 billion annually and could rise to USD 20 billion by 2025, with the digitisation of payments presenting new challenges for cybersecurity.

“It is necessary that the rise in digital transactions remain holistic thereby supporting growth with scalable processing platform. Also, it should be accompanied by allied precautionary measures such as cybersecurity and fraud prevention,” Patel said.

Mass adoption of e-payments and a thriving fintech scene, combined with regulatory policy, are set to propel India into a leading position in the global payments landscape, it said adding unified payments interface (UPI) transactions are a key driver of greater financial inclusion.

The white paper titled “Transactions 2025” noted that India’s smartphone user base is likely to double to 500 million by 2020 as affordable devices and data will spur safe, fraud-resistant digital transactions based on biometrics and multi-factor authorisation.

ACI Worldwide is a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, while AGS Transact Technologies (AGSTTL), is an end-to-end payment solutions company.

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‘Citizen Services’ App Launched to Link Citizens with Police

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) celebrated its 33rd Inception Day and released “Citizen Services” Mobile App.



The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) celebrated its 33rd Inception Day and released “Citizen Services” Mobile App.

The App is a bouquet of 9 police related services, for the citizen.  These services will provide a smooth interface between citizens and police. States/UTs upon customization can host this App on their CCTNS platform through which citizens can register police complaint, and can check the Status of their complaint.

Another feature of the App also enables a complainant to download FIR (except those categorized as “Sensitive”).

Clicking SOS button on the App automatically sends an emergency SMS to friends and family with user’s current location. Locate Police Station feature helps a citizen to locate nearby police station details and route to approach using GPS technology.

Emergency Contact List provides helpline numbers, which are useful during an emergency or regular services like Fire Brigade, Ambulance, Medical Emergency, Women Helpline, Railway Helpline and Child Helpline.

Any citizen can anonymously inform Police about any suspicious/anti-social activities using Citizen Tip feature. Using Telephone Directory feature, Citizen can view detail of any police station in a district for particular State.

Vahan Samanvay stolen vehicle Registration feature is helpful to the public, Road Transport Authorities, and Insurance agencies, to verify the status of stolen/recovered vehicles, before purchase, re-registration, claim settlement etc.

Talash/ Missing Person (Lost person Registration) a web link in the App to provide a link to NCRB website displaying missing persons/ unidentified dead bodies and unidentified persons.

The App is developed by an in-house team of NCRB and as per the compliance of MeitY directions, the Mobile App was tested & certified by CERT-In empanelled Company. The App is being released to States/UTs for utilization at field levels.

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In a Major Push, 63,000 Crore Spent on Tribal Sub Plan in Three Years



Allocation and expenditure under the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), now called Scheduled Tribe Component (STC) has been going up in successive years. A total of 35 various Union Ministries and departments utilised Rs. 62947.82 crore during last three years 2014-15 to 2016-17.

During 2014-2015, Rs. 19920.72 crore was spent while in 2015-2016, Rs.21216.54 crore and during 2016-2017, Rs. 21810.56 crore spent. During 2014-2015, the School Education and Literacy department has utilised Rs. 4707.15 crore which is highest amongst the various stakeholders followed by Tribal Affairs Rs 3832.20 and Rural Development Rs.3314.27.

During 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has spent highest amount of Rs. 4472.26 core and 4793.96 crores respectively followed by School Education and Literacy Department (4287.24 crores and 4343.98 crores respectively) in TSP.

Allocation of Business Rules (ABR) has been amended in January 2017 whereby Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) has been given mandate for monitoring of Scheduled Tribal Component (STC) funds of Central Ministries based on the framework and mechanism designed by NITI Aayog.

An online monitoring system has been put in place by the Ministry since 2017. The framework envisages monitoring of allocations for welfare of STs under the schemes, monitoring of expenditure vis-à-vis allocations, monitoring of physical performance and outcome monitoring.

Further, nodal officer has been nominated in the line Ministries / Departments for coordination and monitoring. Ministry / Department-wise performance shall be reviewed jointly by MoTA and NITI Aayog.

Implementation of Schemes under Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) is the sole responsibility of the respective Central Ministries / Departments and State Government.

This information was given by Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri Jaswantsinh Bhabhor in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

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