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Bandwidth in 35 Worst Naxal-Affected Districts to be Upgraded on Priority

BSNL will conduct a study of the existing mobile towers and switch over to Micro-Wave where Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has reached the gram sabhas.

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NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir chaired a high-level meeting here today to review the mobile connectivity issues in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts of the country.

Out of total 2,355 mobile towers approved under the LWE Phase-I project, 2,329 mobile towers have been installed.

States like Maharashtra, Odisha and Jharkhand highlighted bandwidth issue because of which they face call drops and limits connectivity. It was informed the Telecom Commission has already approved upgradation up to 2 Mbps at the Phase-I satellite towers which are on VSAT at a cost of Rs.89 crores.

Ahir directed the BSNL to expedite the bandwidth upgradation in 35 Worst-Affected Districts on priority and ensure up to 2 Mbps capacity within one month.

It was also decided the BSNL will conduct a study of the existing mobile towers and switch over to Micro-Wave where Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has reached the gram sabhas and submit its report within a month.

Stressing upon connectivity in these 35 districts, the Minister said mobile connectivity is important for the Jawans to remain in touch with their families and it will also help in addressing stress-related issues among the CAPF personnel.

It was informed that under the LWE Phase-II project, the Telecom Commission has approved 4,072 mobile tower locations with 2G and 4G connectivity at a cost of Rs.7,330 crores including operation cost for five years.

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More than 10.5 Lakh Divyang Persons Provided Assistive Benefits So Far

More than 1,200 children became able to hear, due to cochlear implants provided by the government.

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MUMBAI (Maharashtra): Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot distributed assistive devices to Divyang Jan, at a distribution camp held in Pune today. The devices were distributed as a part of the ‘Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase / Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) Scheme’.

Addressing the gathering, the Minister recalled the Honourable Prime Minister’s words that Divyang Jan, senior citizens and other such people the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is mandated to serve are those who are an integral part of human society.

He recounted the PM saying that the needs of these people need to be adequately met in order for the society and nation to march forward. The Minister noted that while India has had a long tradition of taking care of the needy and the disadvantaged, a trend of apathy towards the poorer sections has emerged in recent decades. Observing that the Indian tradition is one of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, Gehlot said that it is our responsibility to work towards alleviating the suffering of those in our community and society and to expand opportunities for their growth and development.

The Minister said that it is in this spirit that the schemes of the Ministry have been designed and that they are being implemented very earnestly. He said that the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has designed many schemes for the upliftment of the poor. The scheme to distribute assistive devices to Divyang Jan, he said, is one such scheme for the removal of poverty.

The Minister spoke of the recently launched Vayoshree Yojana, a ‘Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category’.

He said that the assistive devices provided under this scheme will help Senior Citizens to overcome their age-related physical impairment and lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on caregivers or other members of the family.

The ambitious Scheme, the first of its kind in the country, is expected to benefit around 5.2 lakh senior citizens over a period of three years.

The Minister said that under the scheme, the beneficiary will receive assistive devices costing around Rs. 7,500 free of cost. Gehlot said that the assistive devices are of around seven types, comprising hearing aids, wheelchairs, tricycles, walkers, dentures and eye-glasses.

The Minister expressed satisfaction that under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the Ministry has accomplished historic achievements in the last four years, including the establishment of five Guinness World Records.

Gehlot said that the camp being organized today was the 304th mega-camp, each such camp providing benefits worth more than 1 crore rupees to more than 1,000 citizens. He said that a total of 6,842 camps have been organized nationwide so far, providing benefits worth more than 500 crore rupees to more than 10.55 lakh people.

Speaking of Maharashtra, the Minister said that 675 camps have been held in the state, giving welfare benefits worth 51.51 crore rupees to 87,000 beneficiaries. He said that 1,152 people are being provided 1,758 assistive devices worth 89.56 lakh rupees in the camp being held today, without any discrimination of any sort. Gehlot noted that since the inception of the scheme in 1992, for a period of 22 years till 2014, only 57 camps have been organized, while more than 6,800 camps have been held in the last four years.

He added that the data of benefits provided to beneficiaries are being maintained in a very transparent and systematic manner now.

Speaking of Sugamya Bharat, the Minister said that public places are being made accessible to Divyang Jan and senior citizens under the “Accessible India” scheme. He added that 100 buildings in each of 50 big cities have been selected and work begun in order to make them accessible.

Gehlot stated that 180 buildings in Maharashtra have been identified and work has begun to make 142 of these buildings accessible.

Speaking of the motorized tricycle which is given to Divyang persons with more than 80% disability, the Minister said that a subsidy of Rs. 25,000 is being given by the Government towards providing the tricycle costing Rs. 37,000. He said that this has already been provided to around 2.5 lakh people.

Noting doctors’ opinion that the success rate due to a provision of cochlear implants to children less than 5-6 years of age is 100%, the Minister said that the Government has been providing free cochlear implants to children, at a cost of Rs. 6 lakh per child. He said that 1,212 children have already been benefited under this scheme.

He noted that Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped [AYJNISHD(D)] in Mumbai is one of the leading institutions that undertake this service. Gehlot said that these 1,200-odd children have begun to hear and a majority of them have begun to speak as well.

The Minister said that the Government has been providing benefits for the welfare of totally blind Divyang Jan too, including for their education. He spoke of special walkers for blind people, which are fitted with sensors which alert the user to the presence of nearby obstacles.

He recounted the success of totally blind citizens, such as the three consecutive victories of the Indian team at the Blind Cricket World Cup.

He said that this example shows the need for providing adequate opportunities for the flowering of the talent of Divyang Jan. He added that while the Government is taking steps in this regard, there is a need for greater citizen participation as well.

The Minister stated that Government of India has come up with an Act which provides 4% reservation for Divyang Jan in government jobs; he appealed to state governments too to increase the share of reservation to 4%.

The Minister conveyed his best wishes to all the people who received the assistive devices on the occasion and expressed the hope that they are able to realize their dreams and aspirations as integral members of society.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Special Assistance, Government of Maharashtra, Dilip Kamble; Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, Pune, Anil Shirole and Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, Amar Shankar Sable were among other dignitaries present on the occasion.

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Railways to Use AI to Control Air Circulation in Manipur Tunnel

This system will also be used in the Hyderabad, Mumbai and Ahmedabad metros. 

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IMPHAL (Manipur): For the first time in its history, the railways will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to control air circulation, signages and even supervision and maintenance work in the 10.28 km-long tunnel in Imphal as part of its 110 km railway line from Jiribam to Manipur’s capital city.

While the national transporter is already using this technique to detect flaws or problems in the signalling system on a real-time basis and rectifying it in order to avoid possible delays and mishaps, this is the first time that such a technology will be used in a tunnel in the country.

The system will control air circulation in the system, along with other aspects. It will alert the passenger in case of fire and help us in quick evacuation in case of an issue.

This tunnel is especially unique as it also has a safety tunnel at every 500 meters,” said Yogesh Verma, deputy chief, construction, Northeast Frontier Railway. “So, in case of an accident or any mishap, all a passenger has to do is go 500 meters into the safety tunnel and through signages find his way out. The entire thing will be controlled by artificial intelligence, Verma said.

This tunnel is one of 47 such tunnels in the Jiribam-Imphal line and part of the railways’ project to bring connectivity to the capital city. The system will continuously monitor signals, track circuits, axle counters and their sub-systems of interlocking, power supply systems, including the voltage and current levels, relays, timers collect the data on a predetermined interval and send them to a central location. While it will help run trains safely through the tunnel, it will also help its management and maintenance.

As tunnels deteriorate, officials said, they become more dangerous to the public and more costly to repair. By properly maintaining these tunnels, much of this unnecessary danger and cost can be avoided.

AI will help engineers and inspectors organise and analyse data collected about specific tunnels. The results of this data can then be evaluated and used to predict future tunnel deterioration patterns and corresponding maintenance needs, officials said.

This system will also be used in the Hyderabad, Mumbai and Ahmedabad metros.

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ICF Gives a Fresh Look to LHB Air-Conditioned Coaches

The LHB Coaches made by ICF at present have been provided with split windows of size 1100 mm (L) x 680 mm (H).

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CHENNAI (Tamil Nadu): As part of its plans to innovate coach designs, now, ICF (Integral Coach Factory, a production unit under Ministry of Railways) has turned out one LACCN (LHB 3 Tier AC) Coach with continuous windows, by providing additional glasses on vertical pillars.

This will provide the Air-conditioned coach with an aesthetically pleasing and very good appearance from outside. It has been planned to provide such continuous windows in all AC coaches in a phased manner.

The LHB Coaches made by ICF at present have been provided with split windows of size 1100 mm (L) x 680 mm (H).

However, there will be no change in the interior of the coaches that will be maintained as before.

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