IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 9th July 2018
Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS)
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Government schemes and policies; Health
PM Modi’s ambitious scheme aims to provide coverage of ₹5 lakh per family annually and benefiting more than 10 crore poor families in the country.
AB-NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes — Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
Salient features of the AB-NHPM scheme:
- This scheme has the benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SECC database.
- The Rs. 5 lakh per family a year cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures. 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.
- All pre-existing conditions will be covered from day one of the policy.
- A defined transport allowance per hospitalisation will also be paid to the beneficiary.
- Also, 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 hospital across the country.
- AB-NHPM will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database.
Operation Sagar Rani – find Formalin in fishes
Part of: GS prelims – Health and social issue; Science and Technology
From the previous article, we know that –
- Contaminated fishes preserved using formalin (formaldehyde) were seized in Kerala and also in Tamil Nadu.
- Formalin, a cancer-inducing chemical, is used to prolong the shelf-life of fish.
- Formalin causes irritation in the eyes, throat, skin and stomach. In the long run continued exposure causes harm to the kidneys, liver and can even cause cancers.
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) officials have been undertaking tests (under Operation Sagar Rani)
- It ensures the safety of fish sold in the market and ensures that it was handled hygienically at the handling and distribution centres.
Article link: Fish samples test positive for formalin – NATIONAL
TOPIC:General Studies 2:
- Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
- Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Government of NCT of Delhi v. Union of India
Delhi forms a unique category. Its governance has been a vexatious issue since Independence.
- In July 1947, the Pattabhi Sitaramayya committee was set up to report on Constitutional changes in the administrative structure of the Chief Commissioner’s Provinces. This included Delhi.
- The Committee was of the opinion that the “province which contains the metropolis of India should not be deprived of the right of self-government enjoyed by the rest of their countrymen living in the smallest of villages.”
- However, members of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly, including Nehru and Ambedkar, felt that the national capital could not be placed under a local government.
- Deshbandhu Gupta – the sole representative of Delhi in the Assembly, made vociferous demands for full-statehood. However, ultimately the Constituent Assembly classified Delhi as a Union Territory.
- Numerous amendments to the Constitution have changed the nature of government in Delhi over the years. These culminated in the 69th Amendment of 1991, by which Article 239AA was introduced.
Special status of Delhi
- Article 239AA of the Constitution provides for a legislative assembly in Delhi and the Article provides the legal framework within which Delhi is to be governed.
- Article 239AA(3)(a) vests the Delhi Assembly with the power to make laws for the whole or any part of the National Capital Territory with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the ‘State List’ or in the ‘Concurrent List’ (except police, public order and land).
- Article 239AA(4) provides for a council of ministers “to aid and advise the L-G”. The proviso to the Article provides that “in case of difference of opinion between the L-G and his ministers on any matter, the L-G shall refer it to the President for decision.”
Bone of contention:
- The primary dispute before the Court was related to the interpretation of the phrases “any of the matters” and “aid and advise”.
- Additionally, the scope of the L-G’s discretion to refer matters to the President was a point in issue.
“Nations fail when institutions of governance fail. The working of a democratic institution is impacted by the statesmanship (or the lack of it) shown by those in whom the electorate vests the trust to govern” – writes Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.
The above view is in concurrent to recent judgment of the Supreme Court on the powers of the Delhi government and the lieutenant governor.
Supreme Court’s verdict:
- Delhi government has power in all areas except land, police and public order.
- Lt. Governor is bound by the aid and advice of the NCT govt in areas other than those exempted.
- It noted that there is no room for anarchy or absolutism in a democracy.
The respect for institutions has been declining in India in recent years, but respect for the Supreme Court continues to be very high.
Cutting to the heart of all the political and constitutional wrangling, the judgment unanimously affirms the principle of an elected representative being vested with the power to administer democratically.
It negates the bureaucratic usurpation of power that sought to operate in constitutional interstices, at the instance of an inimical central government.
Connecting the dots:
- The circumstances in which the L-G may have a difference of opinion with the Delhi government remain unclear. Do you agree? Discuss.
- Discuss the essentials of the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act and anomalies, if any that have led to recent reported conflicts between the elected representatives and the institution of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi. Do you think that this will give rise to a new trend in the functioning of the Indian federal politics?
TOPIC:General Studies 3
- Biodiversity, Environment and Disaster Management
- Environment – Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Trees outside a forest
There has been incidents of protests in some of India’s largest cities (these include Delhi and Mumbai) to save natural trees in urban spaces.
- Hundreds of Delhi residents took to the streets in protest against a plan to have 14,000 trees cut for the “redevelopment” of government colonies in South Delhi.
- In Mumbai, citizens have been fighting for years to save over 2,000 trees in Aarey, slated to be felled for another kind of development — to make way for a metro line car shed.
Do you know?
- Urban trees, which are outside of a lush forest, usually miss to get same ecological attention as trees in forests or in national parks get.
- To most of us, city trees are to genuine forests what gardens are to jungles or fish tanks are to the ocean–pocket-size imitations of the wild world, decorative perhaps but playing no real role in the global ecosystem.
- But urban trees are a lot more important than that, and at the moment, they’re in decline.
Failing to protect city trees
The UN’s REDD, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries, programme lays emphasis on planting and maintaining forests as a means to counter climate change.
In India, forests are governed under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, State laws, and the Indian Forest Act, 1927 – lay down elaborate rules for the conservation and diversion of forests. (Usually, trees in cities come under State Tree Acts.)
Despite this, forests are the first targets when it comes to projects such as mining, dams, highways, industrial projects and so on, to be offset by compensatory afforestation.
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had pronounced that – diversion of forest should be seen as ‘reforestation’. As far as the issue of trees outside forest areas is concerned — city trees — the situation is much worse.
As India moves towards more urbanisation, it is important to look at cities more as shared habitats between humans and biodiversity, rather than a jungle of buildings.
Cities are becoming progressively more unliveable – with its year-round hazardous air quality and an increase in cars and inhabitants.
To beat the urban heat island effect we need to ensure that we pay for planning as well as planting. This means proper species selection and future maintenance of tall, mature trees.
Connecting the dots:
- Critically discuss the impact of ecological imbalance by deforestation and unsustainable urbanization.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)
Q.1) Operation Sagar Rani deals with –
- modernization of India’s existing ports and development of 14 Coastal Employment Zones
- return of Druv helicopters from Maldives to India
- safety of fish sold in the market
- defence arrangements across Indian Ocean Rim region
Q.2) Government of India has announced World’s largest government funded Health scheme of the World. Which of the following statements are correct regarding National Health Protection Scheme?
- It is intended to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.
- Under the scheme, beneficiary families will be provided 5 lakh cover per family annually for treatment.
- People will get medical treatment in secondary and tertiary hospitals.
Select the code from below:
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- 1 and 3
- All of the above
Q.3) Consider the following statements with reference to the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS)
- The scheme will provide a cover of Rs.5 lakh per family per year.
- Only hospitalization expenses will be a part of the cover.
- It will subsume Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
Which of the statements given above are correct?
- 1 and 2
- 1 and 3
- 2 and 3
- 1, 2 and 3
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