- Unhappy with services, govt to snap ties with 108 ambulance operator
- Karnataka’s free ambulance service, 108 Arogya Kavacha, is set for a major makeover, with the government planning to replace the operator, augment the fleet, expand operations and address problems dogging the system.
- Dissatisfied with GVK EMRI, the firm which runs the 108 ambulance service in Karnataka, the health and family welfare department has set January 31, 2018 as the last date for terminating the partnership. It’s working on floating a fresh tender.
- The government decided to end the collaboration mainly due to poor maintenance of equipment and vehicles, and the practice of taking patients to private hospitals against their will. The government had inked an MoU with GVK EMRI in 2008 and the partnership was to end in August 2018. But in July 2017, the company was given a threemonth notice to stop services by October 31. The deadline has now been extended.
- Under the existing arrangement, ambulance infrastructure is provided by the government, while EMRI deploys the staff. EMRI runs 711ambulances and 30 bike ambulances across the state, and has 1,500 ambulance pilots and 1,500 paramedical staffers on its rolls. The government’s expenditure runs into Rs 1.35 lakh per ambulance every month.
· Azar A.H.Khan Appointed Next Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan
- Shri Azar A.H.Khan, presently Consul General in the Consulate General of India,Istanbulappointed as the next Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan.
- He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
· Kerala’s Alappuzha in Top 5 UN Clean City List
- The waste management system being implemented in Kerala’s coastal town of Alappuzha recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as one of the five models across the world for fighting the pollution menace.
- Alappuzha, often called “the Venice of East”,has been listed in the UNEP environment report entitled, ‘Solid approach to waste: how five cities are beating pollution’ alongside cities like Osaka in Japan, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Penang in Malaysia and Cajica in Colombia.
- India, Israel to open centre for floriculture in Tamil Nadu
- India and Israel are coming together to set up a centre for excellence in floriculture at Thally in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu.
- The centre, the first agro-technology development centre to be set up with Israel’s assistance in the State, was officially inaugurated on 7 December.
- These centres would not only develop agricultural practices suitable for selected geographical regions, but would also transfer the best practices to farmers in and around.
- Aamir Khan’s Dangal Wins Best Asian Film at Australian Gala
- Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal was on Wednesday named the Best Asian Film at the 7th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.
- Dangal, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is a biographical sports drama film.
- It is inspired by the lives of the Phogat family members, telling the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler, who trains his daughters Geeta and Babita to become India’s first world-class female wrestlers.
- Unesco recognizes Kumbh Mela as India’s cultural heritage
- The Kumbh Mela has been recognized by Unesco as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity”.
- The intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage under the UN body inscribed the Kumbh Mela on the “representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity” at its 12th session in Jeju, South Korea.
- The Kumbh Mela, held in Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik, represents a syncretic set of rituals related to worship and cleansing in holy rivers.
· Kanchanmala Pande Wins Indias 1st World Para Swimming Championship Gold
- Nagpur’s Kanchanmala Pande created history as she became the first Indian to secure pole position at the World Para-Swimming Championship in Mexico. The 26-year-old Reserve Bank of India employee won gold in the 200-metre medley event in the S-11 category and was also the only Indian to qualify for the women’s category. Unfortunately, she missed a podium finish in the 100 metres freestyle and came fifth in the breaststroke and backstroke category.
· Kerala to Raise Minimum Liquor Drinking Age from 21 to 23
- The Kerala government lead by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has decided to raise the legal drinking age from 21 to 23 years.
- The State Cabinet in a meeting decided to introduce a new ordinance raising the minimum age for liquor consumption from 21 to 23.
- The Ordinance will amend the Abkari Act. The previous UDF regime had adopted a policy in favour of prohibition by shutting down bars and closing doors on state-run liquor vending outlets.
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