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PIB Summaries 08 January 2024

  1. Year-End Review of DEPwD, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (2023)
  2. India Nominates Cities for Wetland City Accreditation (WCA):


Recently, the year-end-review of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for the year 2023 was released.


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Highlights of Initiatives and Achievements by DEPwD

Key Highlights of Initiatives and Achievements by DEPwD:

Historic Gatherings and Festivals for Inclusion:

  • Special events at Rashtrapati Bhavan and India’s First Festival of Inclusion (Purple Fest) in Goa.
  • Involvement of thousands of Divyangjan and transgenders, setting world records, fostering a sense of belonging.

India-South Africa Cooperation in Disability Sector:

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Governments of India and South Africa.
  • Focus on cooperation and collaboration in the Disability Sector.

Divya Kala Mela 2023:

  • Hosted in various cities, showcasing the Government’s commitment to holistic development.
  • Aligned with the Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative for equal participation in India’s growth.

Disabilities Awareness Days:

  • Year-long celebration, commemorating events like World Braille Day and International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2023.

Recognition of Achievements:

  • Felicitation of Abilympics winners and honors for the Indian Deaf Cricket Team and Para Swimmer Shri Satendra Singh Lohia.
  • Celebrating excellence and contributions in the field of disabilities.

Initiatives and Reforms:

  • Integration of universal accessibility courses into architectural programs.
  • Release of anonymous data through the UDID (Unique Disability ID) portal.
  • Introduction of portals for skill training, employment opportunities, and online case monitoring.

Empowering Through Entrepreneurship:

  • Government partnerships with institutes supporting and empowering 3000 Persons with Disabilities through enterprise initiatives.
  • Collaboration between government, corporate, and institutions.

Technology and Accessible Resources:

  • Launch of ISL (Indian Sign Language) dictionary terms and Video Relay Service.
  • Online courses in Indian Sign Language and accessible books through SugamyaPustakalaya.

Sports and High-Tech Training Centers:

  • Inauguration of India’s first high-tech sports training center for Divyangjan in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Emphasis on equal opportunities in sports and talent enhancement.

Legal Support and Financial Inclusion:

  • Impactful judgments providing interest rate rebates to divyangjan borrowers.
  • Promotion of financial inclusion through NDFDC loans and collaboration for universal design centers.

Assistance to Disabled Persons Camp (ADIP) Scheme:

  • Grant-in-aid totaling Rs.368.05 crore.
  • Benefiting 2.91 lakh beneficiaries.


The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has submitted three city nominations from India for the Wetland City Accreditation (WCA). The nominated cities are Indore and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, along with Udaipur in Rajasthan.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Wetland City Accreditation (WCA):

  • A voluntary accreditation system by the Ramsar Convention, initiated during COP 12, 2015.
  • Recognizes cities prioritizing the safeguarding of urban wetlands.
  • Aims to promote conservation, wise use, and socio-economic benefits of urban and peri-urban wetlands.
  • Valid for 6 years, fostering positive relationships with valuable ecosystems.

Key Highlights of Nominated Cities:


  • Cleanest city in India, awarded India’s Smart City 2023 for sanitation.
  • Sirpur Lake, a Ramsar Site, developed as a Bird Sanctuary.
  • Over 200 wetland mitras actively engage in bird conservation, particularly protecting the Sarus Crane.


  • One of India’s cleanest cities with proposed conservation zones around wetlands in its draft City Development Plan 2031.
  • Bhoj Wetland, a Ramsar Site, equipped with a world-class wetlands interpretation center (Jal Tarang).
  • Bhopal Municipal Corporation has a dedicated Lake Conservation Cell.


  • Surrounded by five major wetlands: Pichola, Fateh Sagar, Rang Sagar, Swaroop Sagar, and Doodh Talai.
  • Integral to the city’s culture and identity, maintaining the microclimate and providing a buffer from extreme events.

February 2024