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Government opens skill training centres at Bihar madrasas

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New Delhi: The central government on Monday launched skill training centres in three madrasas in Bihar as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ campaign. “The launch of the skill training centres through traditional educational institutions is an important milestone towards achieving the objective of skilling the minority community across the country,” union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah said. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said an amount of Rs.3.6 crore has been released to the three madrasas in Patna, Motihari and Kesariya.

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Heptullah said the scheme will bring together specialized training providers, leading industry bodies and trainees. “The core objective of the scheme is to provide top quality skill training at the neighborhood as per the demand of the market to the students who are currently enrolled with traditional educational institutions like madrassas or have dropped out,” she said. The centres rolled out on a pilot project basis would be extended to other madrassas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced a special financial package of Rs.1.25 lakh crore for Bihar. In addition, the Centre has also notified 21 districts, including state capital Patna, as backward areas and offered them tax rebate.

(IANS)

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India Struggles with Encephalitis Outbreak in Eastern State of Bihar, One of Its Poorest Regions

In 2014, an outbreak of encephalitis killed 350 children in Muzaffarpur

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India, Encephalitis Outbreak, Bihar
Children showing symptoms of encephalitis undergo treatment at Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital in Muzaffarpur, Bihar state, India, June 18, 2019. VOA

At least 152 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak during the month of June in India’s eastern state of Bihar, according to local health authorities. Following a petition, India’s supreme court ordered an investigation into the epidemic.

Acute encephalitis syndrome, sometimes referred to as ‘brain fever’, has claimed lives in 20 of Bihar’s 38 districts.  In particular, the disease has gripped the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, reaching epidemic proportions in a region already stricken with poverty and poor child health.

In 2014, an outbreak of encephalitis killed 350 children in Muzaffarpur.

A petition filed to India’s supreme court sought to end the current epidemic, accusing local and regional governments of being negligent in their response.

India, Encephalitis Outbreak, Bihar

At least 152 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak during the month of June in India’s eastern state of Bihar. Pixabay

“[Encephalitis] is completely curable and lives of young children are being lost due to the inaction of state machinery,” the petition read.

“Most of the deaths are occurring due to lack of medical facilities in the area of outbreak,” it continued.

In response to the petition, Indian supreme court justice Sanjiv Khanna said “We issue notice to the Bihar government seeking a detailed response.”

State and national officials must respond within seven days on health conditions, according to India’s top court.

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India’s health ministry affirmed its earlier promise to open a children’s ward in the district and monitor the epidemic, as state health official face sharp criticism for what has been seen as indifference and negligent behavior.

India’s health minister Harsh Varadhan insisted that the Indian government was providing “all possible support” to combat the epidemic.

Since June 1, more than 700 cases of the disease have been recorded, though there are signs that the disease has been slowing, with no new deaths reported on Monday. (VOA)