As told to Parliament (February 7, 2024): India had over 32 million stunted children as of December 2023

Underweight and wasting levels lower than that projected by National Family Health Survey-5, says Smriti Irani

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 08 February 2024

In December 2023, 36 per cent of the 89.1 million children under six years measured were found to be stunted, 17 per cent were underweight and 6 per cent children under five years were wasted, according to data by the Poshan Tracker for the month. 

The levels of underweight and wasting obtained from the Poshan Tracker are much less than that projected by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5, Smriti Zubin Irani, Union minister for women and child development, told the Rajya Sabha.

25.5 million houses completed under PMAY(G)

A total of 29.5 million houses under PMAY-G has already been allocated to states / Union territories (UT), Niranjan Jyoti, Union minister of state for Rural Development told the Rajya Sabha.

Out of this, more than 29.4 million houses have been sanctioned to the beneficiaries by various states / UTs and over 25.5 million houses have been completed as on February 3, 2024, the minister added.

Road accident victims

As many as 611,857 people, including 97,689 pedestrians (15.96 per cent), were killed and injured in road accidents in India in 2022, Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Union minister for road transport and highways told the Rajya Sabha.

He was citing from the report published by the ministry based on data received from police departments of various states and UTs. 

Multidimensional poverty fell last decade

As many as 248.2 million Indians escaped multidimensional poverty during the nine-year period from 2013-14 to 2022-23, Rao Inderjit Singh, Union minister of state (independent charge) for statistics and programme implementation, told the Lok Sabha.

India’s multidimensional poverty declined sharply from 29.17 per cent in 2013-14 to 11.28 per cent in 2022-23, according to the discussion paper released recently by NITI Aayog titled Multidimensional Poverty in India since the year 2005-06

The paper built on the findings of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2023 report.

The discussion paper focused on the prevalence of multidimensional poverty in India from 2005-06 to 2022-23, utilising both NFHS data and projection methods for years when NFHS data was unavailable. 

Reducing carbon footprint in railways

Indian railways has taken a number of initiatives to reduce its carbon emissions, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union minister for railways, communications and electronics and information technology, told the Lok Sabha.

He listed out some of the measures: 

  • Use of energy efficient technologies like completely switching over to production of three-phase electric locomotives and electric multiple units / mainline electric multiple units with regenerative features
  • Use of head-on generation technology
  • Use of LED lights in buildings and coaches 
  • Use of star-rated appliances

Further, the key interventions that have been identified for reducing carbon emissions include procurement of power through renewable energy sources, shifting from diesel to electric traction and promotion of energy efficiency, the minister added. 

Rice fortification programme in Andhra Pradesh

All 26 districts of Andhra Pradesh have been covered under the rice fortification initiative, Jyoti told the Lok Sabha. 

Rice Fortification is the process of adding fortified rice kernels (FRK) containing Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s prescribed micronutrients (iron, folic acid, vitamin B12) to normal rice / custom milled rice (CMR) in a ratio of 1:1OO (mixing 1 kilogramme of FRK with 100 kg CMR). 

A total of 1.28 million tonnes of fortified rice has been distributed in Andhra Pradesh under the Public Distribution System, she added. 

Mining leases in Andhra Pradesh

There are 376 mining leases for various major minerals (other than atomic, minor and hydrocarbon energy minerals) in the state of Andhra Pradesh, out of which 106 mines are working and 270 mines are not, Pralhad Joshi, Union minister for parliamentary affairs, coal and mines told the Lok Sabha. 

Hydrogen-powered train pilot project

A project for development of hydrogen-powered trains using hydrogen fuel cell has been taken up as a pilot project. The power train of this project has been designed. 

The production is planned to be done at the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai Production Unit. The train will demonstrate the use of hydrogen technology in the railways, Vaishnaw told the Lok Sabha.

Floods due to bursting of glacier lakes

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), Embassy of Switzerland in India, issued the guidelines for management of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) in 2020 including detail about all the aspects of installation of an Early Warning System. 

Two solar-powered, twin-camera, Automated Weather Stations (AWS) were installed by members of two NDMA-led multi-agency expeditions to two high-risk glacial lakes, South Lhonak and Shako Cho in Sikkim on September 16, 2023. 

In addition, potential locations to install an array of sensors for an end-to-end early warning system were identified during the expedition, Kiren Rijiju, Union minister for earth sciences, told the Lok Sabha.

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