Steps taken by Government to promote Innovation in Higher education in India

Steps taken by Government to promote Innovation in Higher education in India

Source – PIB

  • Innovation and upgradation of infrastructure in higher education institutions is an on-going endeavour and the Central Government is making a constant effort in this direction.

Steps taken by UGC

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) under the Scheme “General Development Assistance” provides financial assistance to eligible Central Universities, Deemed Universities, State Universities and colleges. The main objective of the grant, inter-alia, is to set up new infrastructure and strengthen/upgrade existing infrastructural facilities in the institutions.
  • In order to encourage innovation and infrastructure development, the UGC has launched various schemes and initiatives such as Universities with Potential for Excellence (UPE), Centre with Potential for Excellence in Particular Area (CPEPA), Special Assistance Programme (SAP), Research Projects, Basic Science Research and Inter-University Centres.

Steps taken by Central government

  • The Central Government has launched several new initiatives viz. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Impacting Research Innovation & Technology (IMPRINT), Uchchatar Avishkar Yojna (UAY), Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) & Global Research Interactive Network (GRIN) in the field of education to encourage innovation and research in the country.
  • The initiative of SWAYAM has been launched which intends to provide massive open online courses (MOOCs) for the students across the country with the objective of expanding the reach of quality education to the students using the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools.
  • Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), financial support is provided to improve infrastructure availability in the State Higher Educational Institutions and also to promote research and innovation.

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Important diseases – Malaria

Important diseases – Malaria


  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease that’s typically transmitted through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito.

Commonly found in

  • Malaria is usually found in tropical and subtropical climates where the parasites that cause it live.
  • Malaria is typically found in tropical and subtropical climates where the parasites can live. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 3.2 billion people are at risk of malaria.

Congenital malaria

  • Congenital malaria occurs when a mother with malaria passes on the disease to her baby at birth.

How Malaria spreads?

  •  Infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite. When this mosquito bites you, the parasite is released into your bloodstream.
  • Once the parasites are inside your body, they travel to the liver, where they mature. After several days, the mature parasites enter the bloodstream and begin to infect red blood cells. Within 48 to 72 hours, the parasites inside the red blood cells multiply, causing the infected cells to burst open.
  • The parasites continue to infect red blood cells, resulting in symptoms that occur in cycles that last 2 to 3 days at a time.
  • Anopheles mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, which hatch into larvae, eventually emerging as adult mosquitoes. The female mosquitoes seek a blood meal to nurture their eggs. Each species of Anopheles mosquito has its own preferred aquatic habitat; for example, some prefer small, shallow collections of fresh water, such as puddles and hoof prints, which are abundant during the rainy season in tropical countries.

Malaria is transmitted by blood, so it can also be transmitted through:

an organ transplant

a transfusion

use of shared needles or syringes


  • The symptoms of malaria typically develop within 10 days to 4 weeks following the infection. In some people, symptoms may not develop for several months. Some malarial parasites can enter the body but will be dormant for long periods of time.


  • In 2015 an estimated 212 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 429,000 people died, mostly children in the African Region.
  • The WHO African Region carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2015, the region was home to 90% of malaria cases and 92% of malaria deaths.

Five species of Plasmodium

  • There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species – P. falciparum and P. vivax – pose the greatest threat.
  • P. falciparum is the most prevalent malaria parasite on the African continent. It is responsible for most malaria-related deaths globally.
  • P. vivax is the dominant malaria parasite in most countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa.


  • Malaria is preventable and curable, and increased efforts are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places.
  • Vector control is the main way to prevent and reduce malaria transmission. If coverage of vector control interventions within a specific area is high enough, then a measure of protection will be conferred across the community.
  • WHO recommends protection for all people at risk of malaria with effective malaria vector control. Two forms of vector control – insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying – are effective in a wide range of circumstances.

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Medicinal plants in India – An overview

Medicinal plants in India – An overview

News 2017

  • West Bengal Forest Department recently came out with a unique publication that provides details on 581 species of medicinal plants found across different regions of south Bengal.
  • The plants are being conserved in situ, that is, where the plants are naturally found.
  • Collections from two ex-situ (conserving in an area where the plants were not originally found) conservation sites also included in this list.
  • Out of 20,000 medicinal plants listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), India’s contribution is about 5,000 species.
  • Increasing use of medicinal plants as raw materials by different pharma companies has pushed many of these species to the brink of extinction.
  • The volume will help scientists, foresters, researchers and Ayurveda practitioners.
  • Amlachati Medicinal Plant Garden, which boasts of the largest collection of medicinal plants in the country
  • The roots of a rambling herb Gloriosa superba found across south Bengal are poisonous, but they have certain anti-carcinogenic and anti-malarial properties and are widely sought by pharma companies.
  • The bark of the medium-sized evergreen tree Saraca asoca (commonly called Asok tree), which is a threatened tree species classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List, is used in the treatment of a number of ailments, including heart disease.
  • The publication will not only serve as a very important data bank of medicinal plants in the country, but will also generate interest among common people to come forward and conserve medicinal plans by growing them into their home gardens.

Facts about Medicinal plants in India

  • India has 15 Agroclimatic zones and 17000-18000 species of flowering plants of which 6000-7000 are estimated to have medicinal usage in folk and documented systems of medicine, like Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy.  About 960 species of medicinal plants are estimated to be in trade of which 178 species have annual consumption levels in excess of 100 metric tones.
  • Medicinal plants are not only a major resource base for the traditional medicine & herbal industry but also provide livelihood and health security to a large segment of Indian population.  The domestic trade of the AYUSH industry is of the order of Rs. 80 to 90 billion (1US$ = Rs.50).  The Indian medicinal plants and their products also account of exports in the range of Rs. 10 billion.
  • There is global resurgence in traditional and alternative health care systems resulting in world herbal trade which stands at US$ 120 billion and is expected to reach US$ 7 trillion by 2050.  Indian share in the world trade, at present, however, is quite low.

National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB)

  • It was set-up in November 2000 by the Government of India has the primary mandate of coordinating all matters relating to medicinal plants and support policies and programmes for growth of trade, export, conservation and cultivation.
  • The Board is located in the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy (AYUSH) of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

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