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India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan taken from Egypt’s Project, says World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

India has one of the largest networks of roads in the world, but the two per cent of its national highways carry 40 per cent of traffic

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Foreign Secretary Smt. Sujatha Singh participates in 'shramdaan' during 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Flickr

Washington, Oct 08, 2016: The Narendra Modi government’s ambitious Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan is based on the knowledge sharing from a similar project in Egypt, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said here.

“Through our new structure of global practices, knowledge sharing across countries has become easier and faster. When the Government of India came to the bank to prepare a major programme to expand sanitation services for the poor, we were able to transfer knowledge and experience from Egypt’s Rural Sanitation Project and apply it in India,” Kim said at the plenary meet of the World Bank held on Friday.

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“That resulted in the $1 billion Swachh Bharat Rural Sanitation Project in India, which applied knowledge of good service delivery – in the areas of local governance, transparency and accountability to citizens – that had already been taken to scale in Egypt,” he added.

Kim said that the bank was looking to share knowledge from these two projects globally to help deliver better results on the ground.

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He said that the World Bank is also looking to crowd in private sector investment in sectors like infrastructure.

India has one of the largest networks of roads in the world, but the two per cent of its national highways carry 40 per cent of traffic, causing bottlenecks that can limit productivity and slow economic growth.

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“Infrastructure is key to integrating economies and delivering services. To help improve India’s roads, International Finance Corporation invested $250 million in the Singapore-based firm Cube Highways. The firm is acquiring a portfolio of toll roads in India, injecting much-needed funds for road developers to complete their projects,” Kim said. (IANS)

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UN Gives a Thumbs-Up to Movie ‘Toilet-Ek Prem Katha’, Appreciates Stars for Addressing Health And Pollution Issue Through Film

The film has now come under the scanner of global agencies like UN-Environment. Read on to know how!

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Toilet ek prem katha brings to light to issue of open defecation
The Bollywood film has been making news for all the right reasons. Youtube
  • Toilet-Ek Prem Katha movie stars Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Padnekar
  • UN Environment appreciated the film and its stars for their efforts to highlight a global menace such as open defecation 
  • The film’s trailer was previously shared and tweeted by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well 

New Delhi, August 17, 2017: In the Indian film industry, fate changes every Friday with the new release of the week. Of late, as films continued to come and go every next Friday, Toilet-Ek Prem Katha remains one movie that had garnered attention even before its release and continues to do so even a week after hitting the multiplexes.

The Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Padnekar starrer talks about the ailing issue of public defecation currently plaguing a majority of Indian societies and asserts the importance and need of toilets, especially for the womenfolk in every household. The film without seeming preachy, it tackles an important global issue while also supplementing Narendra Modi’s cleanliness initiative – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Starting from the announcement of the title, and eventually, with the film’s release, the spotlight has been thrown directly at Toilet-Ek Prem Katha and the film has managed to remain in news for a variety of reasons.

ALSO READ: “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” : Actor Akshay Kumar stresses on importance of having Toilets in Homes

Apart from its unique subject, the film has another reason to boast about now, as it continues to gross huge figures at the box office.

The Bollywood movie has now earned recognition from the UN Environment, making it noticeable at a global level once again.

UN Environment posted a short clip of the film on their official Facebook page along with a status appreciating the stars for promoting an issue central to public health and pollution through the medium of films-

“Open defecation is a health and environmental concern that touches nearly a billion lives. In Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar are addressing this global issue to spread awareness and spark action.”

 

Cinema enjoys a great impact on people and the film stars exert tremendous influence. The film has been largely appreciated over the Internet for bringing a fresh plot interwoven with a social message, which makes it a good recipe for mass acceptance.

Toilet ek prem katha
The film has fared well at the box office and beyond, with people writing good reviews about it, Quora

Some films leave us with a sense of having witnessed something that feels like our own; which strikes a chord. These are movies that leave a greater impact on the society. Some might help alter social mechanisms, while others might provide the system with an altogether new direction. Toilet Ek Prem Katha remains one such film. Apart from recognition from UN Environment, the Chandigarh state government has also decided to hold screenings of the film for the sarpanches (village headmen) to boost sanitation and tackle issues like open defecation.

The film’s trailer was previously shared and tweeted by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well.

 


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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.