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ADB Approves USD 40.5 Million Loan to Enhance Childhood Development and Maternal Mental Health in Meghalaya

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 40.5 million loan for integrated early childhood development and maternal mental health in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, the multilateral bank said in a release.

The Meghalaya government is contributing USD 15.27 million to the project.

The project is expected to strengthen home-based childcare (children 0-1.5 years) and center-based childcare (1.5-6 years) through daycare (Anganwadi) centers in Meghalaya.

Project Overview:

  1. Holistic Early Childhood Development: The primary focus of the project is to bolster the holistic development of children aged 0 to 6 years. Recognizing the crucial role of the initial 1,000 days in a child’s growth, the project emphasizes the significance of providing nurturing care and adequate nutrition during this critical period.

  2. Maternal Mental Health Care: The initiative places a strong emphasis on maternal mental health, acknowledging the pivotal role that mothers play in the development of their children. By offering comprehensive maternal mental health services, the project aims to ensure that mothers receive the essential support and healthcare they require.

  3. Inclusive Parenting Programs: The project includes group-based parenting programs designed to actively involve fathers in caregiving. This approach not only promotes a more inclusive parenting dynamic but also encourages fathers to actively participate in their child’s growth and development.

  4. Enhancing Nutrient Adequacy: Recognizing the importance of proper nutrition during the early years, the project incorporates the addition of eggs to the diet of pregnant and lactating women, as well as children aged 0.5 to 6 years. This measure is intended to enhance nutrient adequacy and support optimal growth.

  5. Infrastructure Development: The ADB-backed project encompasses the upgrading of 1,800 existing Anganwadi centers, coupled with the construction of approximately 600 new centers. These centers will be strategically located in hard-to-reach areas, ensuring that even marginalized communities can benefit from the initiative.

  6. Scalable Design: ADB’s commitment extends beyond Meghalaya, with a focus on creating a project design that is innovative and scalable. The intention is to serve as a blueprint that can be adopted and expanded across the country to address similar developmental challenges.

India’s first common testing centre for drones to be set up in Tamil Nadu

The country’s first common testing centre for unmanned aerial systems (drones) will be established in Tamil Nadu at an outlay of Rs 45 crore, the state government said Wednesday.Under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS), the facility will come up over 2.3 acres at the SIPCOT industrial park in Vallam Vadagal near Sriperumbudur.As per a statement, the test centre would enable Tamil Nadu to be a significant contributor to the country’s self-reliance in the aerospace and defence sector.

This visionary initiative, undertaken under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS), is slated to redefine the nation’s capabilities in unmanned aerial technology. Spanning an expansive area of approximately 2.3 acres, the testing centre is strategically situated within the SIPCOT Industrial Park, Vallam Vadagal near Sriperumbudur.

The establishment of the testing centre aligns perfectly with the nation’s pursuit of self-reliance in the realm of Aerospace and Defence. With a keen focus on addressing industry needs through innovative solutions, this initiative aims to foster an environment conducive to attracting significant investment in the sector.

A Catalytic Force for Growth

By offering a platform that adheres to the highest Aerospace and Defence Standards, this testing centre obliterates a crucial entry barrier that has long hindered organizations from venturing into this high-potential domain.

Notably, the dearth of accessible test centres outside of established entities like the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has stifled innovation and progress. However, with the establishment of this cutting-edge testing facility, TIDCO aims to bridge this gap and ignite a wave of transformative growth

India gets first-ever night street racing circuit in Chennai

A new street circuit, which will also hold night races, was launched by the Tamil Nadu government and RRPL here on Wednesday. The state government has partnered with Racing Promotions Private Limited (RRPL) for the project. RRPL is also the promoter of the Indian Racing League and F4 Indian Championship.

Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development of Tamil Nadu, Udhayanidhi Stalin, launched the circuit.

As for the track, it is a 3.5km layout, located around the Island Grounds that resides in the heart of the city.

Here are some additional details about the new circuit:

  • The track will be located around the Island Grounds, a 100-acre area in the heart of Chennai.

  • The track will have elevation changes of up to 10 meters.

  • The track will have 19 corners, including multiple chicanes.

  • The track will offer stunning views of the Marina Beach Road and the Bay of Bengal.

  • The event is scheduled to be held on December 9-10, 2023.

  • The SDAT will be investing Rs 42 crore to host the event.

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