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- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23, 2018 launched the flagship scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana’(PMJAY), also known as Ayushman Bharat or the National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) at Ranchi, Jharkhand. On the same occasion, the Prime Minister also launched a toll free number 14555 for people to get more information about Ayushman Bharat scheme. The scheme will become operational from September 25, 2018, the birth anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyay. Ayushman Bharat will provide free coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year in any government or even empanelled private hospitals all over India.
- The Board of Directors of Vodafone Idea Limited, India’s largest telecom operator, on September 17, 2018 approved merger of the Vodafone Idea Limited with the Aditya Birla Telecom Limited (ABTL), the parent company of Idea Cellular. The Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd holds 11.15 percent stake in telecom infrastructure firm Indus Towers Ltd. With this amalgamation, Vodafone Idea will directly have shareholding in Indus Towers and can monetise the stake held by ABTL following simplification in the corporate structure.
- The death of children below the age of five years continues to steadily reduce in India, declining from nearly 22 per cent in 2012 to 18 per cent in 2017, which is now for the first time below the one million mark, as per a new UN report released on September 17, 2018. The latest Levels and Trends in Child Mortality: Report 2018 from UNICEF and partners in the UN Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) shows the full scope of child and mortality rates across the world – from newborns to adolescents.
- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be on a four-day visit to India from October 1, 2018. He will be accompanied by a six member delegation and will be participating in the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention scheduled to be held at Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre, New Delhi on October 2, 2018. He will also attend the joint inaugural ceremony of the First Assembly of International Solar Alliance, 2nd RE-INVEST Conference and Energy Ministers Meet of Indian Ocean Rim Association of States member countries on the same day in New Delhi.
- The World Bank board has approved an ambitious five-year Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for India that is in line with India’s objectives of high, sustainable and inclusive growth. The framework sets the strategic focus for the World Bank’s engagement with India for the period FY18-22, to support its transition to a high-middle income economy. Through the CPF, the World Bank aims to addressing some of India’s key development priorities such as resource efficient and inclusive growth, job creation and building its human capital.
- US private space firm SpaceX on September 17, 2018 signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) launch vehicle. Japanese billionaire and founder of online fashion giant Zozo, Yusaku Maezawa will be the first Moon tourist on SpaceX’s Lunar BFR Mission. Till now, only two dozen people have been to the Moon, with the final Apollo Mission of 1972, marking the last time a human visited the moon.
- The first International Day of Sign Languages was observed across the world on September 23, 2018 with the theme “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!” The UN General Assembly decided to commemorate the day as the International Day of Sign Languages in order to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realisation of the human rights of people who are deaf. According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide and more than 80 per cent live in developing countries. Collectively, they are known to use more than 300 different sign languages. The day – September 23rd- was chosen as it commemorates the date when the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), a federation of 135 national associations of deaf people, was established in 1951.
- State-run telecom firm BSNL, has signed a deal with Japan’s SoftBank and NTT communications to launch 5G internet services and internet of things technology in India, BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava informed. The service may be launched by 2020 in the country.
- Union Minister Nitin Gaadkari has said that the Government will implement 115 sewage water treatment projects in seven states at an estimated cost of Rs. 17876crore as part of the project for Ganga River rejuvenation. The most of the 221 projects under Namami Ganga Programme worth over Rs. 22000crore are near completion.
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