Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 16th June to 23rd June – 2019

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  • June 24, 2019
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 16th June to 23rd June – 2019



Janani Suraksha Yojana

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health)

A safe motherhood intervention under the National Rural Health Mission (NHM)

Objective: Reduce maternal and infant mortality by promoting institutional delivery among pregnant women

  • Janani Suraksha Yojana, a conditional cash transfer scheme- was launched in 2005 as part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to improve maternal and neonatal health by promotion of institutional deliveries (childbirth in hospitals).
  • The aim was to improve India’s infant and maternal mortality rates through institutional deliveries.
  • Under JSY, pregnant women choosing to deliver at the hospital and the health worker who motivated her to take the decision get cash incentives- Rs.1,400 for the woman and Rs.600 for the Accredited Social Health Activist in rural areas and Rs.1,000 and Rs.200 respectively in urban areas.
  • The motto of cash incentive was to reduce financial barriers to accessing institutional care for delivery.

Increased hospitalisation

  • The researchers of the study ‘Health and Morbidity in India: 2004-2014’, based on analysis of the 60th and 71st round of NSSO data, found a causal link between JSY and increase in hospitalisation, even for non-childbirth-related ailments.
  • While the fertility rates in Indian women have steadily declined from 2.88% in 2004 to 2.4% in 2014, JSY has impacted overall hospitalisation of women in India.
  • It has led to 15% increase in institutional childbirth with a commensurate decline in deliveries at home.
  • Also, there is tremendous increase of 22% in deliveries in government hospitals. This is due to 8% decline in childbirth at private hospitals and a 16% decline in childbirth at home.
  • The scheme has increased the probability of woman being hospitalised by 1.3% which has resulted in 2% overall increase in hospitalisation of women in India.
  • Though this increase might appear marginal but it is very significant as women in rural India are known to delay in seeking health interventions.

Positive changes

  • This scheme has led to enhancement in utilisation of health services among all groups especially among the poorer and underserved sections in the rural areas.
  • This has reduced prevalent disparities in maternal care.
  • Previous studies on JSY had shown reduction in maternal mortality rates. But there was no evidence if it had reduced socio-economic inequalities, i.e. difference in access to maternal care between individual people of higher or lower socioeconomic status.
  • In the IHDS study, three key services of maternal care were used for the analysis:
    1. Full antenatal care (full ANC)
    2. Safe delivery
    3. Postnatal care

Major findings

Services used

  • Increase in utilisation of all three maternal healthcare services between the two rounds was remarkably higher among illiterate or less educated and poor women.
  • This shows the effect of JSY scheme where women with little or no education were motivated to utilise maternal health care services.

Reduced disparities

  • The usage of all three maternal healthcare services by the OBC, Dalit, Adivasi and muslim women increased between the surveys.
  • There was narrowing of gap between the less educated and more educated women and between the poorer and richer women.
  • It was also found that women in their early twenties were more likely to avail of each of the three maternal health care services as compared to their older women.
  • Also, the incidence of women availing maternal healthcare services decreases with the increase in the number of children they have delivered.

Inequality persists

  • There still exists inequality in the access to maternal care.
  • Though there is gap in access to healthcare between the marginalised group of women and those who are financially better-off, it has declined since the advent of the JSY program.
  • There is still high incidence of maternal mortality rate in India. As per the latest series on maternal health, India accounted for 15% of the total maternal deaths in the world in 2015 — second only to Nigeria — with 45,000 women dying during pregnancy or childbirth.

Support of other schemes

  • Percentage of women reporting sick has also increased partially due to result of other health insurance schemes like Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana.
  • Having insurance is associated with a 17% increase in probability of being hospitalized in a government facility and an 8% increase in the probability of hospitalization in a private hospital.

Challenge to tackle

  • Though the economic significance of 2% increase is little, it has to be understood that JSY was not to increase overall hospitalisation. It was only to reduce maternal and infant mortality. But now it is seen that women are going for childbirth and are also coming in for other ailments to the hospitals.
  • This has however raised concerns about quality of care with increasing number of caesarean sections and hospital-acquired infections.
  • Increased hospitalisation for deliveries in public sector is an achievement. But this has also increased the dangers of decreased health care quality. Here, the health outcomes are not aligned with public health goals.

Anaemia in women

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health)

According to National Family Health Survey (NFHS)–IV (2015-16), the prevalence of anaemia among women aged 15 to 49 years is 53%. According to National Family Health Survey (NFHS)–IV (2015-16), the prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years is 54%.

Under the National Health Mission (NHM), the steps taken to tackle anaemia  are:

  1. Anaemia Mukt Bharat(AMB) has been launched in the year 2018 as part of Intensified National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI)Program for accelerating the annual rate of decline of anaemia from one to three percentage points. The target groups for AMB are Children 6-59 months, 5-9 years, Adolescent Girls & Boys of 10-19 years, Women of Reproductive Age (15-49 years), pregnant Women and Lactating mothers.
  1. Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) Programme is being implemented to meet the challenge of high prevalence and incidence of anaemia amongst adolescent girls and boys. The intervention under WIFS include supervised weekly ingestion of Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablet (each IFA tablet contains 100mg elemental iron and 500µg folic acid) for 52 weeks in a year.To control worm infestation biannual de-worming with Albendazole 400mg is done, six months apart.
  2. Health management information system & Mother Child tracking system is being implemented   for reporting and tracking the cases of anaemic and severely anaemic pregnant women.
  3. Universal screening of pregnant women for anaemia is a part of ante-natal care and all pregnant women are provided iron and folic acid tablets during their ante-natal visits through the existing network of sub-centers and primary health centers and other health facilities as well as through outreach activities at Village Health & Nutrition Days (VHNDs).  These women are also counselled for dietary habits.
  4. Pradhan MantriSurakshitMatritvaAbhiyan (PMSMA) has been launched to focus on conducting special ANC check up on 9th of every month with the help of Medical officers/ OBGYN to detect and treat cases of anaemia.
  5. Every pregnant woman is given iron and folic acid, after the first trimester, to be taken 1 tablet daily for 6 months during ante-natal and post-natal period each.  Pregnant women, who are found to be clinically anaemic, are given two tablets daily.
  6. To address anaemia due to worm infestation, deworming of pregnant women is done after first trimester preferably in second trimester of pregnancy.
  7. Operationalization of   Blood Bank in District Hospitals and Blood Storage Unit in Sub district facilities such as Sub-Divisional Hospital/ Community health Centers is being taken to tackle complications due to severe anaemia.
  8. To tackle the problem of anaemia due to malaria particularly in pregnant women and children, Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs) and Insecticide Treated Bed Nets (ITBNs) are being distributed in endemic areas.
  9. Health and nutrition education through IEC & BCC to promote dietary diversification, inclusion of iron folate rich food as well as food items that promotes iron absorption.
  10. MCP Card and Safe Motherhood Booklet is being distributed to the pregnant women for educating them on dietary diversification and promotion of consumption of IFA.
  11. Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material in the form of posters, hoardings, wall-writings and audio-visuals have been developed & disseminated to the States/UTs to promote prevention of anaemia.

Advisory to all Private Satellite TV Channels for appropriate representation of children in dance based Reality Shows

  • Several dance based reality TV shows portray young children performing dance moves originally done by adults in movies and other popular modes of entertainment. These moves are often suggestive and age-inappropriate. Such acts may also have distressing impact on children, impacting them at a young and impressionable age.
  • All private satellite TV Channels are expected to abide by the provisions contained in Programme & Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and rules framed. As per the rules, no programme should be carried on TV which denigrates children, and further that programmes meant for children should not contain any bad language or explicit scenes of violence.
  • The Ministry has accordingly issued an Advisory to all private satellite TV channels to avoid showing children in indecent, suggestive and inappropriate manner in dance reality shows or other such programmes. The channels have been further advised to exercise maximum restraint, sensitivity and caution while showing such  reality shows and programmes.


Employment Generated Through Textile Sector

(Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment)

The Textile industry is one of the largest source of employment generation in the country with over 45 million people employed directly and another 6 crore people in allied sectors, including a large number of women and rural population.

Government has launched several important schemes for employment generation and providing livelihood in handloom, handicraft, powerloom for all the segments of the textile sector.

  1. SAMARTH—Skill development and capacity building scheme.
  2. Amended Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) for technology upgradation of the textile industry, purpose being to attract investment and boost employment.
  3. National Handloom Development Programme, Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme, Handloom  Weaver Comprehensive Welfare Scheme and Yarn Supply Schemesfor promotion of handloom sector and employment generation .
  4. Comprehensive Handicraft Cluster Development Scheme.
  5. PowerTex India for powerloom weavers.
  6. Silk Samagra—an integrated Scheme for development of silk industry
  7. Integrated Wool Development Programme.
  8. Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks
  9. Scheme for Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) was recently approved by the Government to rebate all embedded state as well as central taxes/levies up to 31st March 2020 to promote ease of doing business and avoid procedural delays, rebate of taxes /levies embedded in manufacturing. This applies to Made-Ups and Apparels.

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Update

(Topic: Agriculture)

To provide claims against the crop yield losses due to natural risks/calamities, adverse weather conditions, pests & diseases etc. two major crop insurance schemes namely –

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY): PMFBY provides comprehensive risk coverage from pre-sowing to post harvest losses against non-preventable natural risks.  
  • Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS): The RWBCIS provides indemnification for likely crop losses due to deviation in weather indices.  
  • Further, to provide adequate risk coverage the sum insured has been equated to Scale of Finance at minimum uniform fixed premium rate payable by farmers i.e. maximum 2% for Kharif crops, 1.5% for Rabi Crop and 5% for annual commercial/horticultural crops, with balance of actuarial/bidded premium being shared by the Central and State Government on 50 : 50 basis;  lowering of unit area of insurance to village/village panchayat level for major crops and to individual farm level for localised risks of hailstorm, landslide and inundation and post-harvest losses thereby promoting more realistic assessment of losses.
  • In addition, assistance is also provided to farmers through other schemes namely, PM KISAN (for regular income), PM ASHA (Price support), National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for relief due to natural calamities etc.

Ban on Crop Residue Burning: The National Green Tribunal in the order passed in 2015, directed and prohibited agricultural residue burning in any part of the NCT of Delhi, State of Rajasthan, State of Punjab, State of Uttar Pradesh and State of Haryana. Paddy Stubble burning is mainly practiced in Indo-gangetic plains of the States of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to clear the fields for Rabi Crop sowing.

Modernization of Technology to Double the Income of Farmers:

  1. Development of Kisan Suvidha mobile application to facilitate dissemination of information to farmers on the critical parameters viz., Weather; Market Prices; Plant Protection; input Dealers (Seed, Pesticide, Fertilizer) Farm Machinery;  Soil Health Card; Cold Storages & Godowns, Veterinary Centres and Diagnostic Labs. With market information, Farmers are better informed about markets to sell produce, prevailing market prices and quantity demanded in the market. Thus, they can make informed decisions to sell produce at the right price and right time.
  2. The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has also compiled more than 100 mobile apps developed by ICAR, State Agricultural Universities  and Krishi Vigyan Kendras and uploaded on its website. These mobile apps developed in the areas of crops, horticulture, veterinary, dairy, poultry, fisheries, natural resources management and integrated subjects,  offer valuable information to the farmers, including package of practices, market prices of various commodities, weather related information, advisory services, etc.
  3. Development of  mKisan Portal (www.mkisan.gov.in) for sending advisories on various crop related matter to the registered farmers through SMSs.
  4. Launching of e-National Agriculture Market initiative to provide farmers an electronic online trading platform.
  5. Implementation of  Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, sub-scheme of Integrated Scheme of Agricultural Marketing, in order to improve/create scientific storage capacity for storing farm produce, processed farm produce and to reduce post-harvest storage loss.
  6. Introduction of Soil Health Card Scheme to assist State Governments in providing Soil Health Cards to all farmers across the country once in a cycle of 2 years Soil health card provides information to the farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving crop productivity and soil fertility.
  7. Providing subsidies under National Food Security Mission (Oil Seeds and Oil Palm) to farmers on seed components, transfer of technologies, production inputs and water carrying devices. Financial assistance is also being provided under this scheme for block demonstration, frontline demonstration, farmers training to educate farmers to adopt modern techniques of farming to yield good crop economically.
  8. Use of  space technology for various programmes/ areas such as Forecasting Agricultural Output using Space, Agro-meteorology and Land-based Observations project,  Coordinated programame on Horticulture Assessment and Management using geo-informatics project, National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System, Rice-Fallow Area Mapping and intensification, geo tagging of infrastructure and assets created under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana,  and Crop Insurance. 
  9. Using machine learning process along with different computer algorithm for crop classification and area estimation.

The Government has also set up 713 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and 684 Agricultural Technology Management Agencies at district level for dissemination of technologies among farm community. In addition, farmers are  provided information  through Focused Publicity Campaigns, Kisan Call Centres, Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business Centres of entrepreneurs, Agri Fairs and exhibitions, Kisan SMS Portal, etc.

India will lead by example in combating desertification

(Topic: Environment)

With about 30% of country’s total geographical area being affected by land degradation; India has high stakes and stands strongly committed to the Convention.

Various schemes by the Government of India which are helping to reduce land degradation:

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
  • Soil Health Card Scheme
  • Soil Health Management Scheme
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PKSY)
  • Per Drop More Crop

Launch of a flagship project on enhancing capacity on forest landscape restoration (FLR) and Bonn Challenge in India, through a pilot phase of 3.5 years implemented in the States of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in partnership with The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), through this flagship project aims to develop and adapt best practices and monitoring protocols for the Indian states and build capacity within the five pilot states on FLR and Bonn Challenge. This will be eventually scaled up across the country through subsequent phases of the project.

Please Note:

World Day to combat desertification and drought: 17th June

  • Slogan: ‘Let’s Grow the Future Together’
  • A unique occasion to remind global community that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and cooperation at all levels.
  • Achieving land degradation neutrality will help provide a solid base for several important issues, ranging from poverty reduction, food & water security and climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Protecting and restoring land – and better using it – can reduce forced migration, improve food security and spur economic growth. It can also help us to address the global climate emergency. On this World Day, let us recognize the imperative of combating desertification as part of our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.At the UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India also joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and additional 8 million hectares by 2030. India’s pledge is one of the largest in Asia.

United Nations has 3 Rio Conventions

  1. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  2. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  3. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD):
    • Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement linking environment and development issues to the land agenda.
    • In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared 17 June the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to promote public awareness and the implementation of the UNCCD in the desertification affected countries.
    • India is hosting the Fourteenth session of Conference of Parties (COP – 14) from 29th August – 14th September 2019.
    • One of the primary functions of the COP is to review reports submitted by the Country Parties detailing how they are carrying out their commitments.
    • India will take-over the COP presidency from China for two years until the next COP is hosted in 2021.

Prelims oriented News:

World Food India 2019: 1st -4th November, 2019

Newly-elected Lok Sabha Speaker: Shri Om Birla

Archery World Championship: India won one silver and two bronze medals at the event, making it the best-ever medal haul in an Archery World Championship. India had won two silver medals in the same event in 2015, which is the country’s second best performance at the Championship. The Indian men’s recurve team comprising Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav won a silver medal at the Championships.

NABCB secures international equivalence for personnel certification: The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), India’s national accreditation body, secured international equivalence for its accreditation programme for personnel certification bodies.

NABCB signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) for its accreditation programme based on international standard, ISO/IEC 17024. ISO/IEC 17024: Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons specifies criteria for the operation of a Personnel Certification Bodies (also known as a certification body for persons). The standard includes requirements for the development and maintenance of the certification schemes for persons upon which the certification is based.

With the above recognition, NABCB hopes to facilitate export of Indian services and skills into the world market by attesting that persons are certified following international standards by the certifying bodies.

Personnel Certification would support many professionals in India, especially thosewho do not have formal education or certificate programme. Any person carrying ISO/IEC 17024 certificate with NABCB logo will be recognized internationally. It can also be used by regulators for establishing confidence in certified personnel for different activities.

Note: NABCB, a constituent Board of the Quality Council of India, an autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is responsible for accreditation of certification/inspection bodies as per applicable international standards under an international system of equivalence. This signifies that the accreditation of personnel certification bodies by NABCB is now accepted as equivalent at international level. Accreditation reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring that accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) are competent to carry out the work they undertake within their scope of accreditation.

Dispute Resolution Mechanism for solar/wind sector: To consider the unforeseen disputes between solar/wind power developers and SECI/NTPC, beyond contractual agreement. It will give further fillip to the smooth implementation of solar/wind energy projects in India.

  • A three member Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) will be set up with the approval of Hon’ble Minister (NRE), consisting of eminent persons of impeccable integrity. The upper age for the DRC members shall be 70 years. The Committee members of DRC shall be chosen from the eminent persons located in NCR of Delhi so as to avoid expenditure on Air Travel & accommodation. The selection of DRC Members would be such that there is no conflict of interest involved.
  • The mechanism of Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) will be applicable for all solar/ wind Schemes/ Programmes/ Projects being implemented through/ by SECI/ NTPC.

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to remove requirement of minimum educational qualification for transport vehicle drivers:

  • Under Rule 8 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, a transport vehicle driver needs to have passed class 8. However, there are large numbers of unemployed persons especially in rural areas of the country, who may not have a formal education, but are otherwise literate and skilled.
  • The move will benefit skilled persons in economically backward areas
  • Stress to be on competent drivers training and stringent skill testing to ensure safety

Nipah Virus

  • Nipah Virus is an emerging infectious disease that broke out in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999.
  • It first appeared in domestic pigs and has been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.
  • The infection is also known to affect human beings.
  • The organism which causes Nipah Virus encephalitis is an RNA or Ribonucleic acid virus.
  • Nipah virus infection gets its name from the village in Malaysia where the person from whom the virus was first isolated succumbed to the disease.

How does Nipah spread or get transmitted?

  • The disease spreads through fruit bats or ‘flying foxes,’ of the genus Pteropus, who are natural reservoir hosts of the Nipah and Hendra viruses.
  • The virus is present in bat urine and potentially, bat faeces, saliva, and birthing fluids.
  • Nipah Virus, which is a zoonotic disease, was known to affect humans in Malaysia and Singapore after coming in direct contact with the excretions or secretions of infected pigs.

Symptoms of the Nipah infection:

  • The human infection presents as an encephalitic syndrome marked by fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, coma, and potentially death.
  • There is no specific treatment for Nipah Virus. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (2016 – 2020): To encourage and promote skill development for the youth throughout the country. The scheme aims to benefit 10 million youth over the period of four years (2016- 2020). 

The three Corporations under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment namely National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporations (NBCFDC) and National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC)  also implement Skill Development Training Programmes for the socio-economic development of persons belonging to target groups i.e. Scheduled Castes (SCs), Other Backward Caste (OBCs) /Economically Backward Class (EBC) /De-notified Nomadic Tribe (DNT)/Senior citizens including women, Safai Karamcharis/Manual Scavengers/Waste Pickers.

The India International Skill Centres (IISC) program was launched as a pilot operational in 14 centres in the country. A total of 583 students were trained in these centres. The IISCs at present and is the form of a future-network model have the following as their focus:

  • Counselling and guidance along with Foreign Employment Support for employment opportunities in the overseas market, information on the required skill set, minimum wages etc. to the potential emigrants.
  • Skill Testing & certification aligned with employer standards
  • Incremental skill training & Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT)
  • To focus on emerging opportunities in all regions of the world

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) control programme: The programme envisages 100% vaccination coverage of cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats and pigs at six months interval in the entire country. Further, animals will be identified using unique animal identification ear tags. The programme also includes de-worming of targeted population of livestock twice a year as one of its activities.

Brucellosis control programme: The programme envisages 100% vaccination coverage of female cattle and buffalo calves (4-8 months of age) once in a life time.

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