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23 September, 2019

15 Min Read

Lifeline for India

GS-II: Lifeline for India


Ayushman Bharat is a conscious attempt to holistically address health, encompassing prevention, promotion and ambulatory care at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.


  • It promises to bring healthcare to the poorest through two components:
  • Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) delivering comprehensive primary healthcare through the development of 1.5 lakh HWCs
  • PM-JAY, the health assurance scheme delivering secondary and tertiary care to 55-crore people through a health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year.
  • Ayushman Bharat has been designed based on the idea that prevention is better than cure.
  • No one should fall into poverty because of expenditure on healthcare, or die because they cannot afford treatment.
  • It promises free healthcare to the poorest 55 crore people in the country.
  • It would help them avoid the catastrophic healthcare expenditure that pushes 6 crores below the poverty line each year in India.

The journey so far – healthcare

  • More than 20,000 HWCs have been made operational.
  • More than five crore people have been screened for a whole range of common non-communicable diseases.
  • More than 45 lakh hospital admissions have taken place for cashless treatment in more than 18,000 empaneled hospitals across the country, resulting in savings of more than Rs 13,000 crore for the beneficiary families.
  • Ayushman Bharat has provided a platform and framework for the country to accelerate its progress towards comprehensive universal healthcare.

Working with States

  • In several states and union territories, it has an opportunity to extend the benefits to far larger numbers, beyond those covered under the scheme.
  • 11 states/UTs have expanded the coverage to include almost all families. 23 states/UTs have expanded the beneficiary base with the same benefit coverage as under PMJAY or lower.
  • Several states have merged their many ongoing schemes with PMJAY to make implementation simpler for both beneficiaries and participating hospitals.
  • They don’t need to deal with different target groups, rates, and reporting systems.
  • Karnataka has merged seven different existing schemes into one, while Kerala has merged three different schemes.

Private sector participation

  • More than half of the empaneled hospitals are private. Over 62% of the treatments have been done by private hospitals.
  • PM-JAY has created a massive demand for private and public sector services by making hospital facilities accessible to 55 crore people.
  • In tier II and tier III cities, private sector hospitals are witnessing an almost 20% increase in footfall.
  • Public sector facilities have streamlined their processes so as to improve service quality and amenities with funds from PMJAY.


  • With the setting up of 1.5 lakh HWCs by 2022, an expected 1.5 lakh jobs will be created for community health officers, including 50,000 multi-purpose health workers.
  • It has generated approximately 50,000-60,000 jobs in the first year itself and is expected to add over 12.5 lakh jobs in both public and private sectors over the next three to five years.
  • 90% of them are in the healthcare sector and the remaining in allied sectors such as insurance and implementation support.
  • 1.5 lakh beds will be added to existing and new hospitals. This will lead to the creation of around 7.5 lakh new opportunities for doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists and frontline healthcare workers such as Pradhan Mantri Arogya Mitras.

Way Forward

  • Tap the potential of collective bargaining and leveraging economies of scale to deliver affordable and quality healthcare through devices, implants, and supplies.
  • Prescribing and ensuring adherence to standard treatment protocols.
  • Strengthening the linkage between HWCs and PMJAY to improve the backward and forward referrals and enhance overall healthcare services to the poor.
  • “Greenfield” states with no past experience of implementing healthcare schemes have to work harder to scale up their progress.

Source: Indian Express

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Seeking to Secure

GS-II: Seeking to Secure


The move to link Aadhaar with GST registration is a tentative step in the right direction. Since the Centre and States passed the landmark legislation in 2016adopting the single countrywide GST.

What is GST?

  • It is a destination-based taxation system.
  • It has been established by the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act.
  • It is an indirect tax for the whole country on the lines of “One Nation One Tax” to make India a unified market.
  • It is a single tax on supply of Goods and Services in its entire product cycle or life cycle i.e. from manufacturer to the consumer.
  • It is calculated only in the “Value addition” at any stage of a goods or services.
  • The final consumer will pay only his part of the tax and not the entire supply chain which was the case earlier.
  • There is a provision of GST Council to decide upon any matter related to GST whose chairman in the finance minister of India.

GSTN to make Aadhaar authentication mandatory for new dealers from January 2020:

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Network has decided to make Aadhaar authentication or physical verification mandatory for new dealers from January 2020 so as to check malpractices in GST. Aadhaar authentication was earlier optional.
  • This decision was taken after noticing in last two years that there are a good number of fly-by-night operators, who make fake invoices.
  • For those who do not want Aadhaar authentication, physical verification will be carried out, which will be completed in 3 days.
  • As refunding is a big issue, the GST Network has also decided on complete online refunding from 24 September 2019 from a single source, either by Central GST or State GST.
  • Moreover, no State government is in favour of slashing the GST slab for Automobile sector from 28% to 18%, fearing loss of revenue.

Way Forward :

In its 37th meeting in Goa the council also agreed to appraise the possibility of making the also agreed to appraise the possibility of making the bio-metrics unique identifier mandatory for claiming refunds . GSTN the information technology backbone on which the whole tax systems runs . The council too needs to follow the network’s lead and move swiftly to recommend mandatory link for refunds especially since that has proved to be the main sources of most frauds.


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The nationalist hindrance to climate actions

GS-III: The nationalist hindrance to climate actions.


The UN Climate Actions Summit is likely to hand out hard lessons about climate politics in an era of nationalism.

Visible signs and science:

  • The scientific advisory group to the summit the five years since 2015 is set to the warmest of any period sea level rises is accelerating and ocean have become 265 more acidic since the dawn of the Industrial era.
  • Recent whether events bring into focus the likely implications of a warming world .This year saw Delhi like temperature in southern Europe ,Hurricane Dorian rendered large parts of Bahamas unliveable an witnessed simultaneous raging fires in the Amazon, central Africa and even Siberia.
  • Heat wave in France and Germany was made 8 to 10 times more likely by climate change concentrations of carbon dioxide continue to rise, and current country pledges would not stem this increase even by 2030.

A political Disconnect:

  • If science experience and public alarm are increasing on the side of action, unfortunately, national politics in country after country is trending in the wrong direction.
  • The US President not only refuses to enhance actions he has actively rolled back measures in the electricity sector and actions to limit methane emissions in the name of competitiveness.
  • In Brazil , President has made it clear he sees environmental protections as limiting Brazilian business and nationalism in some countries where the politics is more conducive.
  • By contrast several large countries like US, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico are reportedly not even going to participate in the event at a high level.
  • China and India have issued statements hinting that they are doing quite enough and India has high lightened the need for enhanced finance if it is to do more.

A path for India:

  • India has the potential to show the pathway to accelerating action on climate change even while pursuing its development interests.
  • A notable example is its energy efficiency track record ,which helps limit greenhouse gases energy. India is justifiably recognised for promoting renewable energy, also muddies water by sending mixed signals on future coals use.
  • India needs some domestic energy policies that are more clearly and polices turned to a future low carbon world.
  • India committed to a low –carbon future that brings development benefits, strike common cause with others power ? India and china both jostling for influence in African nations but also both losers from climate impacts, jointly help ensure that Africa’s development is powered by renewable energy than fossil fuels and based on energy efficient future .


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Ganga Data Collector

GS-III: Ganga Data Collector


Ganga Data Collector

  • Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has launched a mobile application “Ganga Data Collector”.
  • This is under the “Biodiversity and Ganga Conservation” project initiated by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) of Union Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The app will provide field researchers with a complete data entry solution to monitor the aquatic population in the river.
  • The scientists of WII, Ganga Prahri volunteers and staff of the forest department in the Ganga Basin will use this application on their mobile phones.
  • The Ganga basin covers 11 states including Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Delhi.
  • It will make faster collection of more authentic and accurate data related to water quality and aquatic life in Ganga.


  • The associates will collect data related to quality of water, presence of different species of fishes, amphibians and reptiles, crocodiles and turtles, dolphins, birds, water level and weather.
  • They will file these details in data-sheets along with information of date, time and location of collection data.

Source: Indian Express

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Sagittarius A*

GS-III: Sagittarius A*


Sagittarius A*

  • It is a supermassive black hole that sits 26,000 light years away from Earth, near the Galactic Centre, or the centre of the Milky Way.
  • It is one of the few black holes where we can witness the flow of matter nearby.
  • Since the discovery of Sagittarius A* 24 years ago, it has been fairly calm.

Why in news?

  • This year Sagittarius A* has shown unusual activity, and the area around it has been much brighter than usual.
  • It may be that the Sagittarius A* has become hungrier, and has been feeding on nearby matter at a markedly faster rate, which one researcher described as a “big feast”.
  • A black hole does not emit light by itself, but the matter that it consumes can be a source of light.
  • A large quantity of gas from the S0-2 star, which travelled close to the black hole last year, may now have reached the latter.
  • Other possibilities of the heightened activity are that it could be growing faster than usual in size, or that the current model that measures its level of brightness is inadequate and is in need of an update.

Source: Indian Express

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