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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 15 June 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 15 June 2018


Paper 2:

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Ayushman Bharat health scheme

Context: Around 20 states have so far signed memoranda of understanding to implement Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission which aims to provide health protection to around 10 crore poor families in the country.


Highlights of the scheme:

Coverage: The scheme has the benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. To ensure that nobody is left out (especially women, children and elderly) there will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme. The benefit cover will also include pre and post-hospitalisation expenses.

Target: The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SECC database. Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.

Role of state governments: State Governments will be allowed to expand AB-NHPM both horizontally and vertically. States will be free to choose the modalities for implementation. They can implement through insurance company or directly through Trust/ Society or a mixed model.

Council: For giving policy directions and fostering coordination between Centre and States, it is proposed to set up Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) at apex level Chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister.


Who is eligible?

  • It will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database.
  • The different categories in rural area include families having only one room with kucha walls and kucharoof; families having no adult member between age 16 to 59; female headed households with no adult male member between age 16 to 59; disabled member and no able bodied adult member in the family; SC/ST households; and landless households deriving major part of their income from manual casual labour.
  • Also, automatically included families in rural areas having any one of the following: households without shelter, destitute, living on alms, manual scavenger families, primitive tribal groups, legally released bonded labour. For urban areas, 11 defined occupational categories are entitled under the scheme.


Implementation Strategy:

At the national level to manage, an Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Agency (AB-NHPMA) would be put in place. States/ UTs would be advised to implement the scheme by a dedicated entity called State Health Agency (SHA). They can either use an existing Trust/ Society/ Not for Profit Company/ State Nodal Agency (SNA) or set up a new entity to implement the scheme. States/ UTs can decide to implement the scheme through an insurance company or directly through the Trust/ Society or use an integrated model.


Benefits of the scheme:

This will lead to increased access to quality health and medication. In addition, the unmet needs of the population which remained hidden due to lack of financial resources will be catered to. This will lead to timely treatments, improvements in health outcomes, patient satisfaction, improvement in productivity and efficiency, job creation thus leading to improvement in quality of life.


Way ahead:

The scheme, if implemented properly could be a game changer by enhancing access to health care including early detection and treatment services by a large section of society who otherwise could not afford them. The identification of beneficiaries can be done by linking with Aadhar and similarly following up for services received and health outcomes achieved, thereby helping to monitor and evaluate the impact of the programme.

Ultimately, the scheme could help country move towards universal health coverage and equitable access to healthcare which is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: Ayushman Bharat- details of the scheme.
  • For Mains: Need for universal health coverage.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


India among over 90 nations without paid paternity leave

Context: According to a new UNICEF analysis, India is among almost 90 countries in the world without national policies in place that ensure new fathers get adequate paid time off with their newborn babies.


Highlights of the report:

  • Almost two-thirds of the world’s children under one-year-old, nearly 90 million, live in countries where their fathers are not entitled by law to a single day of paid paternity leave.
  • India and Nigeria, which have high infant populations, are among the 92 countries do not have national policies in place that ensure new fathers get adequate paid time off with their newborn babies.
  • In eight countries across the world, including the United States which is home to nearly four million infants, there was no paid maternity or paternity leave policy.
  • Other countries with high infant populations, including Brazil and Congo, all have national paid paternity leave policies, albeit offering relatively short-term entitlements.


Need for paternity leave:

  • Evidence suggests that when fathers bond with their babies from the beginning of life, they are more likely to play a more active role in the child’s development. Research also suggests that when children positively interact with their fathers, they have better psychological health, self-esteem and life-satisfaction in the long-term.
  • Also, positive and meaningful interaction with mothers and fathers from the very beginning helps shape children’s brain growth and development for life, making them healthier and happier, and increasing their ability to learn.


Way ahead:

Around the world, momentum for family-friendly policies is growing. For example, India has proposed a Paternity Benefit Bill for consideration in the next session of Parliament which would allow fathers up to three months of paid paternity leave.

UNICEF has urged governments to implement national family-friendly policies that support early childhood development, including paid paternity leave, to help provide parents with the time, resources and information they need to care for their children.


Facts for Prelims:

  • UNICEF has launched ‘Super Dads’ campaign which aims to break down barriers preventing fathers from playing an active role in their young children’s development.
  • The campaign celebrates Father’s Day – recognised in more than 80 countries in June – and focuses on the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of young children’s brains.


Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3:

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology.


Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

Context: Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array has uncovered convincing evidence for three young planets orbiting within a protoplanetary disk – or planet-forming disk – around an infant star. The star is called HD 163296. It’s 330 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.


About ALMA telescope:

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is an international partnership of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan, together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.

  • ALMA -the largest astronomical project in existence- is a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed of 66 high precision antennas located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile.
  • ALMA allows scientists to unravel longstanding and important astronomical mysteries, in search of our Cosmic Origins.


What’s important?

For Prelims and Mains: About ALMA telescope.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Conservation related topics.


Swajal Scheme


Context: The government recently launched Swajal schemes in 115 aspirational districts of the country. It will involve an outlay of Rs 700 crores through flexible-funds under the existing National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) budget.


What is Swajal?

  • Swajal is a community owned drinking water programme for sustained drinking water supply.
  • Under the scheme, 90% of the project cost will be taken care by the Government and the remaining 10% of the project cost will be contributed by the community. The Operations and management of the project will be taken care by the local villagers.


About NRDWP:

The NRDWP was started in 2009, with a major emphasis on ensuring sustainability (source) of water availability in terms of potability, adequacy, convenience, affordability and equity. NRDWP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with 50: 50 fund sharing between the Centre and the States.


Facts for Prelims:

Water is a State subject and rural water supply has been included in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution among the subjects that may be entrusted to Panchayats by the States.


What’s important?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features of SWAJAL and NRDWP.


Sources: pib.


Facts for Prelims:


“Water Productivity Mapping of Major Indian Crops”:

What is it? It is a book published by NABARD.

  • The book is based on study of 10 important crops. The ten important crops include rice, wheat, maize, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton and potato etc.
  • The book suggests to realign cropping pattern keeping in view water scarcity of irrigation, ration irrigation supplies in canal irrigation system, improve micro-irrigation and invest in water harvesting and artificial recharge and encourage participatory irrigation management through water user association and farmer’s producer organisation.


Mt Deotibba:


Why in News? An all women Naval mountaineering team recently summited Mount Deotibba.

About Mt Deotibba: Mt Deotibba is the second highest peak (6001M) in the Pir-Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh.


Apache helicopters:

Context: The US has approved a deal to sell six AH-64E Apache helicopters to India for $930 million as well as Hellfire and Stinger missiles to bolster the country’s ability to defend its homeland and deter “regional threats”.

About Apache helicopters:

  • The AH-64 Apache is a multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the US Army and a number of international defence forces.
  • It is equipped with all-weather and night-fighting features apart from an advanced weapons system.
  • The Apache has advanced laser, infrared, and target acquistion designation, including other systems, to locate, track and attack targets.
  • It also has stealth characteristics, advanced sensors and beyond-visual-range missiles.


Pinaka rocket:

Context: The indigenous Pinaka rocket system of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is being evolved into a precision-guided missile, with enhanced range and accuracy to hit its targets.


About Pinaka:

  • The rocket has been developed by the Armament cluster of the DRDO, with a lead from Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE).
  • It is used to neutralize the enemy’s positions that are strategically important for the enemy. The advanced versions of this system can also be used to conduct surgical strikes even without entering into the enemy area.
  • The launcher can fire 12 rockets with 1.2 tonnes of high explosives within 44 seconds and destroy a target area of 4-square km at a time.
  • Pinaka is capable of working in different modes – autonomous mode, stand-alone mode, remote mode and manual mode.
  • The second variant of Pinaka, known as Mark-II, has a maximum range of 75 km.
  • DRDO is working with Israel’s IMI to develop Pinaka Mark-III which will use IMI’s Trajectory Correction System (TCS) that will enhance the accuracy of the attack.