Home » Current Affairs Date: 08 January 2023

Current Affairs Date: 08 January 2023


11th edition of the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit

⇒ The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS-XI), a flagship program of the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) concluded on 12th October 2022, in Leh, Ladakh.

    • The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit-XI, (SMDS-XI) was held on October 10-12, 2022 in Leh, Ladakh Union Territory.

The theme for SMDS-XI was ‘Harnessing tourism for sustainable mountain development’.


The main focus of the summit was to reduce the negative impacts of tourism while harnessing its positive contributions to building climate and socio-ecological resilience and sustainability.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Bhupender Yadav attended the inaugural session of Sustainable Mountain Development Summit-XI, (SMDS-XI).
    • In his address, he also highlighted the establishment of GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (GBPNIHE) and its one Regional Centre at Leh, under MOEFCC which is particularly mandated on research and development activities for sustainability of the Himalayan environment.
    • He emphasized that various unique landscapes of the country like the Himalayas, Western Ghats and Thar desert need special attention of the scientific community.
Highlights of SMDS-XI:

» This program which began with the Himalayan Youth Summit on the 9th saw a galaxy of participants and speakers from across India and the world.

    • The theme of the Youth Summit was ‘Sustainability and Entrepreneurship’.

» During the 3 days summit, various technical sessions delved into issues of environmental sustainability, tourism products, security and others. It was apparent that the uniqueness of Ladakh needed much more thought that needed to be considered through the tourism products, regulation and policy, waste management, water security, energy security, and regeneration and protection of landscapes.

    • The issues of gender, culture and changing patterns of livelihoods figured prominently.
    • Inputs received from the resource persons were interesting and insightful as it came from all across the Himalaya and other Mountain regions of the world.
    • Sustainability and security was also discussed in a session which was Chaired by Shri Ram Madhav of India Foundation.
    • The GoC, 14 Corps and Shri P. Stopdan of Ladakh International Centre also participated in the session providing their valuable inputs.

» One of the main side events of every SMDS is the Mountain Legislators’ Meet, and this year, MLM was centered around the issue of Extended Producer Responsibility.

    • The meeting that was chaired by the Chief Executive Councillor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill District Council, came up with a declaration to amend the Rules of Extended Producers’ Responsibility (EPR) as applicable for the Mountain States.
    • This was a corollary to the Declaration of the MLM held in Darjeeling in 2021.
About SMDS:
    • The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) is a flagship annual event of IMI, a civil society-led forum working across the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) that comprises 10 mountain states, two union territories and four hill districts.
    • In addition to the central event, two integral components of the SMDS include the Mountain Legislators’ Meet (MLM) and the Indian Himalayan Youth Summit.

Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) Initiative

⇒ On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, the Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) initiative of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare was launched at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru.

    • Establishing a new milestone in the field of mental health, Tele-MANAS initiative was launched virtually on 10 October 2022 by Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot, Governor of Karnataka.

Tele-MANAS aims to provide free tele-mental health services all over the country round the clock, particularly catering to people in remote or under-served areas.

Nodal Centre & Other Support:

The programme includes a network of 23 tele-mental health centres of excellence, with NIMHANS being the nodal centre and International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIITB) providing technology support.

    • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bengaluru and National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHRSC) will provide the technical support.

» The Union Government aims to open at least one Tele-MANAS Cell in each State/UT.

Organisational Framework of Tele-MANAS:
Organisational Framework of Tele-MANAS
Image Source: PIB

A toll-free, 24/7 helpline number (14416) has been set up across the country allowing callers to select the language of choice for availing services. Service is also accessible with 1-800-91-4416. The calls would be routed to Tele-MANAS cells in the respective state and union territory.

Tele-MANAS Calling Mechanism:
Tele-MANAS Calling Mechanism
Image Source: PIB
Tele-MANAS will be organised in two tier system:
    • Tier 1 comprises of state Tele-MANAS cells which include trained counsellors and mental health specialists.
    • Tier 2 will comprise of specialists at District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources for physical consultation and/or e-Sanjeevani for audio visual consultation.

» Presently there are 5 regional coordination centres along with 51 State/UT Tele MANAS cells.

Key Points:
    • The initial rollout providing basic support and counselling through centralized Interactive Voice Response system (IVRS) is being customized for use across all States and UTs.
    • This will not only help in providing immediate mental healthcare services, but also facilitate continuum of care.
    • Specialised care is being envisioned through the programme by linking Tele-MANAS with other services like National tele-consultation service, e-Sanjeevani, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, mental health professionals, Ayushman Bharat health and wellness centres and emergency psychiatric facilities.
    • Eventually, this will include the entire spectrum of mental wellness and illness, and integrate all systems that provide mental health care.
    • NIMHANS has conducted training for 900 Tele MANAS counsellors from majority of States/UTs.
States/UTs which have launched Tele Mental Health Programme include:

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chhattisgarh, Dadra Nagar Haveli and daman and Diu, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Important Day

World Mental Health Day 2022

⇒ World Mental Health Day is observed every year on 10 October.


The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) announced the theme for World Mental Health Day 2022, which was “Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority”.


The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

    • The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
    • World Mental Health Day was first observed on October 10, 1992, by the World Federation for Mental Health.
    • World Mental health Day initially did not have any specific theme and was observed with an aim for advocacy and educating people. However, as the campaign gained popularity, World Mental Health Day in 1994 was observed with the theme of “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.”
    • Every year since 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) has organized a global campaign for World Mental Health Day.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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