The central government will provide financial assistance to states to fight Japanese Encephalitis, which has already claimed close to 1,000 lives, including 400 in western Uttar Pradesh alone.
A cabinet committee on Thursday is expected to approve Rs 4,000-crore assistance plan, which includes R2,000 crore for providing safe drinking water and sanitation and Rs 1,300 crore to other ministries. The plan includes funding for expanding the encephalitis vaccination programme to 62 districts and setting up special ICUs.
The central government also plans to provide funds for rehabilitation of victims and improving nutrition levels to fight the disease which has hit several districts in UP and Uttarakhand.
The cabinet is also expected to consider amendments to Indecent Representation of Women Act to include cyber space, multi-media messaging and TV under its ambit and impose hefty fines for any violation.
The women and child development ministry has proposed that indecent representation of women through any other medium such as print, audio, visual including ads would also be punishable with a fine of R50,000 and a three-year jail term.
The proposed amendments have not only widened the scope of the existing legislation but have also substantially enhanced the penalties for violation of the Act.
The original Act, enacted in 1986, relates to print media and prohibited indecent portrayal of women through ads, publication, writing and painting.