PIB News 20th Oct, 2020

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

High - Level review by AYUSH Ministry of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) activities of States and UTs against the backdrop of Covid-19
Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha chaired a high level meeting to review the various impactful interventions which the Ministry made in the recent months and which have significantly contributed to the preventive steps and management of Covid-19. Principal Secretaries and Secretaries of AYUSH and Health Departments of different States and UTs took part in the meeting held through video confeferencing.

Shri Kotecha appraised the States/UTs about the recently released National Ayurveda and Yoga Protocol for Management of Covid-19, the need to expedite the operationalization of AYUSH Health Wellness Centres approved under National AYUSH Mission (NAM) and the urgent need to improve the expenditure and fund flow at State/UT level under NAM.

The Ayush Grid project of the Ministry, which aims to establish a unified IT backbone for the sector, was discussed in detail. Information about the completion of a cloud based AYUSH Health Management Information System (A-HMIS)which can be put to use by all AYUSH establishments was welcomed by all. The A-HMIS is one among the 14 different pilot projects that have been implemented under the Ayush Gird project. The AYUSH Ministry invited all States/ UTs to make use of this HMIS to streamline the hospital processes in their respective domains.

The need for the States/UTs to focus on early operationalization of AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres as per the target set under Ayushman Bharat was underlined. Possible steps to enhance the pace of expenditure under NAM was also discussed. States/UTs were requested to expedite the action for thorough co-ordination with AYUSH and Health Departments in the States/UTs for early and smooth operationalization of HWCs. It was emphasized that there is renewed interest among the public in Ayush processes and solutions in the post-Covid times, and that it was essential to expand the scope and reach of NAM operations to fulfil this increase demand for Ayush products and services.

Secretary also highlighted the important steps taken by the Ministry of AYUSH in the context of Covid-19. He, however, cautioned that the Protocol should not lead to a false sense of security. He requested the active co-operation and participation of the states/UTs in implementation of the protocol to manage covid-19 pandemic effectively. He also explained that release of such a National Protocol was a landmark in the mainstreaming of Ayush Systems.

The Protocol is developed by expert committees from Research Councils and National Institutes under Ministry of AYUSH and other national research organizations. The protocol is based on knowledge from Ayurveda classics, experience gained from clinical practices, empirical evidences and emerging trends of ongoing clinical studies conducted through various research organizations and National Institutes. The protocol consists of easily available and common Ayurvedic herbs and formulations like Guduchi, Ashwagandha etc. and yoga practices in managing asymptomatic, mild and post-covid stages in addition to prophylactic and preventive care. The Protocol is an important tool to take the people-friendly solutions offered by Ayush Systems to a larger number of beneficiaries.

During the meeting various States/UTs shared their experiences and activities they have conducted in the context of covid-19. The joint efforts and sharing of experiences, it was agreed by all, will lead to the potential of Ayush Systems being tapped on a nation-wide scale for fighting the pandemic.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.)

Shri Nitin Gadkari lays Foundation Stone of country’s first Multi-modal Logistic Park in Assam
The Rs 693.97 crore park will provide direct air, road, rail and waterways connectivity
The Minister hopes that this project will provide direct or indirect employment to nearly 20 lakh youth in the State

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone for country’s first Multi-modal Logistic Park at Jogighopa in Assam today. The Rs 693.97 crore park will provide direct air, road, rail and waterways connectivity to the people. It will be developed under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana of the Government of India. Chief Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal presided over the virtual function, which was attended by Union Ministers of State Dr Jitendra Singh, Gen (Retd) Dr V K Singh and Shri Rameshwar Teli; Ministers from the Assam State, Members of Parliaments, MLAs and senior officers from the Centre and the State were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Nitin Gadkari said that his Ministry envisages developing 35 Multi-modal Logistic Parks (MMLPs) in the country, of which work on preparing DPR and feasibility report is underway. He said, SPVs will be formed for all these MMLPs, and professionally qualified CEOs will be appointed for each separately. The first such MMLP is being made by NHIDCL in Jogighopa of Assam, which will be connected to road, rail, air and waterways. This is being developed in 317-acre land along the Brahmaputra. Shri Gadkari said, the first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed by 2023. He informed that works worth Rs 280 crore have already been awarded, including Rs 171 crore for road construction, Rs 87 crore for erecting the structure, and Rs 23 crore for rail lines. The work will begin next month, he said. The Minister expressed hope that this project will provide direct or indirect employment to nearly 20 lakh youth in the State.

The Minister added that the distance of 154 km between Jogighopa and Guwahati will be covered by making a 4-lane road on this stretch, a 3-km rail line will connect Jogighopa station to the MMLP, another 3-km rail link will connect it to the IWT, and the road to newly developed Rupsi airport will be upgraded to 4-lanes for easier connectivity. He said, the MMLP will have all the facilities like, warehouse, railway siding, cold storage, custom clearance house, yard facility, workshops, petrol pumps, truck parking, administrative building, boarding lodging, eating joints, water treatment plant, etc.

Shri Gadkari informed that the initial report and master plan is ready for the 346 acre MMLP with JNPT in Wardha Dry port area of Nagpur. Feasibility reports are being prepared for the Bangalore MMLP, Sangrur warehouse complex in Punjab, Surat, Mumbai, Indore, Patna, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, and Coimbatore. DPR is being made for MMLP near Chennai port, and studies have begun for MMLP in Pune and Ludhiana. Other 22 MMLPs are proposed in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Kandla, Vadodara, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jullundur, Bhatinda, Hissar, Ambala, Kota, Jaipur, Jagatsinghpur, Sundarnagar. Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Nashik, Panaji, Bhopal, Raipur, and Jammu.

The Minister further informed that his Ministry has plans for National Highway works worth Rs 80,000 crore in Assam. He said, NH works for 575 km worth Rs. 3,545 crore are going to be completed within this financial year. NH works of nearly Rs 15,000 crore will be awarded by next year, while DPRs will be completed for works of Rs 21,000 crore for the State. He said, under the CRIF scheme, 203 km NH length at a cost of Rs 610 crore has been approved for 2020-21. The Minister also announced clearing of a number of Road proposals from different MPs and MLAs for the State.

Shri Gadkari also informed that a total of 12 accident black spots have been identified on National Highways in Assam, of which three have been temporarily improved. He said, all the black spots will be eradicated by the year 2023.

Union Minister of State (I/c) for Development of North Eastern Region and Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space Dr Jitendra Singh outlined the efforts of Shri Nitin Gadkari in clearing the developmental projects in the NE. He said, it was due to the herculean efforts of Shri Gadkari that today, we have a wide network of roads in the region. He introduced inland waterways to us, now more than 10 waterways are being developed, which will bring down the logistic cost by one fourth. Dr. Jitendra Singh said Shri Gadkari has also addressed the problems of dilapidated and orphaned roads through Special Road Development Schemes. He said, this cost effective mode of transport will be cheaper option for trade, business and transportation and will boost the trade across the borders especially with our eastern neighbours by leaps and bounds. He said, MMLP is a novel idea, and will be replicated by other states soon. The minister said, due to several unique and innovative mega projects, NE has emerged as a model of development in the country, similarly, roads have improved in the region.

Chief Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of State for RTH Gen (Retd) Dr V K Singh, MoS for Food Processing Industries Shri Rameshwar Teli, Ministers from the State Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Shri Chandra Mohan Potwary, and Shri Phani Bhushan Choudhury also addressed the event.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

Dr Harsh Vardhan launches CSIR partnered clinical trials website “CUReD” on Repurposed Drugs for Covid- 19
Website provides information about Covid-19 drugs, diagnostics and devices including current stage of trials
CSIR is also working with Ministry of AYUSH for clinical trials of AYUSH drugs including AYUSH-64
Dr Harsh Vardhan emphasizes on maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and other precautions as essential in the fight against COVID-19

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science & Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Sciences, today launched a website that gives comprehensive information about the numerous COVID-19 clinical trials that CSIR is engaged in partnership with Industry, other government departments and ministries.

Called CuRED or CSIR Ushered Repurposed Drugs, the website provides information about the drugs, diagnostics and devices including the current stage of the trials, partnering institutions and their role in the trials and other details. The site can be accessed at https://www.iiim.res.in/cured/      or

The Minister lauded the efforts of CSIR for being at the forefront of the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and prioritizing clinical trials, generating data for their regulatory approval and helping launch drugs and diagnostics in the market. He commended the approach of using repurposed drugs and also, synthesizing COVID-19 drugs through new processes and transferring to Industry.

CSIR is exploring multiple combination clinical trials of anti-virals with host-directed therapies for the potential treatment of COVID-19. CSIR is also working with the Ministry of AYUSH for clinical trials of AYUSH drugs and has undertaken safety & efficacy trials of AYUSH prophylactics and therapeutics based on individual plant-based compounds and in combination. Five clinical trials involving WithaniasomniferaTinosporacordifolia + Piper longum(in combination), GlycyrrhizaglabraTinosporacordifolia & Adhatodavasica (individually and in combination) and AYUSH-64 formulation are undergoing safety and efficacy trials.

A key clinical trial of CSIR is the Sepsivac (Mw) against COVID -19 in partnership with Cadila. The phase 2 clinical trial has been completed successfully on critically ill COVID-19 patients, and more extensive Phase 3 trial is on the anvil. Further, the Phase 2 trial of phytopharmaceutical AQCH on Covid-19 patients with Sun Pharma and DBT is underway.

In addition to clinical trials of repurposed drugs and vaccines, CSIR has been involved in clinical trials of diagnostics and devices. 

Dr Harsh Vardhan emphasized that while the scientists are working on developing drugs and vaccines, as of now, social distancing, wearing masks and other precautions are essential and must be duly followed if we have to win the fight against COVID-19.

Dr. Shekhar C Mande, Secretary, DSIR and DG-CSIR, Dr.Ranjana Aggarwal, Dir, NISTADS and Dr. Geetha Vani Rayasam, Senior Principal Scientist & Head, Science Communication and Dissemination Directorate CSIR HQ, were present on the occasion. CSIR Directors, Heads of Departments, and Scientists involved in Clinical Trials joined the event virtually.  


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Shri Mansukh Mandaviya launches “Development of Indigenous Software solution for VTS and VTMS”
VTS/ VTMS is a software for determining vessel positions, position of other traffic or meteorological hazard warnings and extensively manages the traffic within a port or waterway
‘Made In India’ VTS and VTMS software to pave the way for ‘Make for the world’ vessel traffic management systems: Shri Mansukh Mandaviya
Rs. 10 Crore sanctioned to IIT, Chennai for the development of indigenous software solutions
Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) Shri Mansukh Mandaviya e-launched the development of Indigenous Software solution for Vessel traffic services (VTS) and Vessels Traffic Monitoring Systems (VTMS) in New Delhi today

In the inaugural address, Shri Mandaviya put emphasis on the development of indigenous system as per the requirement of the country instead of relying high costing foreign made software solutions for Traffic Managements of the Indian Ports.

Shri Mandaviya said that aligning with the vision of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ of Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi, ‘Made In India’ VTS and VTMS software will pave the way for ‘Make for the world’ vessel traffic management systems.

VTS and VTMS is a software which determines vessel positions, position of other traffic or meteorological hazard warnings and extensive management of traffic within a port or waterway. Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) contribute to safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and protection of the marine environment, adjacent shore areas, work sites and offshore installations from possible adverse effects of maritime traffic. Vessels Traffic Management Systems are installed in some of the busiest waters in the world, and are making valuable contribution to safer navigation, more efficient traffic flow, and protection of the environment. Traffic flow in busy approach routes, access channels, and harbours can be coordinated safely, in the best interest of port and its users. Incidents and emergency situations can be dealt with quickly. Data from traffic movements can be stored and used as reference information for port administration, port authorities, coastguards and search and rescue services.

VTMS is mandatory under IMO Convention SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). The VTMS traffic image is compiled and collected by means of advanced sensors such as radar, AIS, direction finding, CCTV and VHF or other co-operative systems and services. A modern VTMS integrates all of the information into a single operator working environment for ease of use and in order to allow for effective traffic organization and communication.   

Presently, India has approximately 15 VTS systems operational along the Indian Coast and there is no uniformity of VTS software as each system has its own VTS software. With the indigenous software development in progress the recent positive cooperation with office of Director General of Light and Lighthouses (DGLL) on joint development of the indigenous VTMS software development as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative will strengthen the cooperation in this area. At the same time, it will benefit the port sector, both in India and region. It is expected that a prototype system will be developed in Ten-month time for testing and to operate as a parallel system until it is robust for day to day operations.

Development of the indigenous VTS software will reduce the expenditure of foreign exchange on this issue and also minimize the dependence on foreign support for VTS software. Accordingly, indigenous development of VTS software will benefit with respect to:

  1. Saving of foreign exchange for various VTSs in India.
  2. VTS Software can be provided to Indian trade friendly nation’s viz. Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bangladesh and Gulf countries.
  3. Will also minimize the cost for future up gradations of software.
  4. Shall be easier to interconnect with MIS/ERP software’s of ports.
  5. Availability of Indian VTS software shall make Indian companies to be competitive commercially in global bids.

 Implementation of National Maritime Domain Awareness programme of Indian Navy and NCVTS by DGLL – a real time, interactive aids to navigation system for coastal shipping shall become feasible with Indian VTS software at low cost.   

Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned an amount of Rs. 10 Crore to IIT, Chennai for development of indigenous VTS software.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Shipping, Chairpersons of the Major Ports and representative of IIT, Chennai were also present through virtual means during the event. 




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