New Delhi: Government on Thursday said the USD
1,783 million to be spent for refurbishing and repairing the
Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier "compares well" with the
price of similar warships built in other countries.
"The repair and refurbishing cost of about USD 1,783
million (USD 1.78 billion) of the ship compares well with the
cost of other aircraft carriers of similar capabilities being
built elsewhere in the world," Defence Minister A K Antony
said in written reply to a Rajya Sabha query.
India and Russia recently signed a fresh deal worth USD
2.33 billion dollars for the Gorshkov, which was originally to
be procured at a cost of USD 974 millions under a 2004
Pointing out the reasons behind procuring the
Russian-built aircraft carrier, he said, "requirement of two
operational aircraft carriers for the Navy has been considered
essential to perform its mandated tasks. Further, aircraft
carriers are not easily available."
Antony added, after taking these aspects into
consideration, the induction of the aircraft carrier was
finalised to enhance the combat capability of the Navy.
Meanwhile, answering another query, the Minister said
in last four years only one accident had taken place during
the aerial display of defence aerobatic teams.
A Kiran Mk II aircraft of the Navy had crashed on March 3
this year at Hyderabad at an air show. While two defence
services personnel died in the accident, two civilians were
New Delhi: India, which is struggling to
cope with high Infant Mortality Rates, can reduce the deaths
of children by three to four per cent by protecting women from
malaria during pregnancy.
Henri van den Homberg, Chief of Health of UNICEF, said
that malaria infection during pregnancy has the greatest
impact on the health of the baby and is one of the biggest
risk factors for their death.
"If a mother gets infected by malaria during the
second half of pregnancy, the baby has a high tendency to be
born with low birth weight which is one of the biggest factors
for deaths in the first weeks of life," Henri told reporters.
If the placenta of a pregnant woman gets infected by
malaria, the child has a high risk of being born with low
weight which can lead to deaths, he said.
He regretted that India does not have any national
data on pregnant women with malaria.
The UNICEF official also talked about many cost
effective treatments and prevention for malaria among pregnant
women particularly of the use of nets.
"Global research shows that use of bed nets can
reduce malarial parasite in the blood by 38 per cent. More
than a quarter of low birth weight can be prevented through
use of nets," he said.
Pregnant women are entitled to free mosquito nets in
the country but doubt whether this information has reached
them, he said.