Monday, 29th August 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

a  

Benefits of Ayushman Bharat Scheme extended to Transgender People

b  

India: Sex Ratio at Birth

c  

Supreme Court opposes different abortion limits for unmarried women

2   Terms & Concepts

a  

African Swine Fever

b  

Aashwasan campaign

c  

UNESCO Peace Prize

d  

Design Led Incentive Scheme

3   Editorial of the day

a  

Japan’s continuing struggle with gender parity: The Hindu

b  

After Agnipath, India is in need of a Nitipath for its civil services: LiveMint

4   Case Study of the Day

a  

A missing pot and the unmissable caste divide

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Benefits of Ayushman Bharat Scheme extended to Transgender People


In News:

The Government has decided to offer benefits under the Ayushman Bharat scheme to transgender people.

About the News:

  • The Ministry of health and family welfare (MoH&FW) has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ministry of social justice and empowerment for extending Ayushman Bharat facilities to transgenders.
  • Ayushman Bharat is a central government-run insurance scheme which offers beneficiaries an annual cover of ₹5 lakh. to seek treatment in any of the 25,000 empanelled hospitals across the country.
  • The MoU is expected to help close to 480,000 transgender persons who are registered under the scheme.
  • The government is also planning to bring a comprehensive package for the transgender category, including the existing AB-PMJAY packages and specific packages such as sex reassignment surgery, and other treatment modalities.

Major highlights of the proposal:

  • About: The agreement will provide composite health care services to all eligible transgenders under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna who will have a certificate issued by the National Portal for Transgender Persons.
  • Standalone scheme: The scheme would cover all transgender persons not receiving such benefits from other Centre or state-sponsored
  • Importance: This MOU has laid the foundation for a landmark transformational reform in society as it will not only provide special health care benefits to the transgender community but will also ensure equality for the disadvantaged community.
  • Right to dignity: Disadvantaged communities can now progress with dignity and self-reliance with collaboration of government and Society.

Ayushman Bharat:

  • Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) was launched in realisation of the mandate under National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
  • This initiative has been designed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its underlining commitment, which is to "leave no one behind."
  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives:
    • Health and wellness Centres
    • National Health Protection Scheme.

Health and Wellness Centres

National Health Protection Mission (AB-PMJAY)

 

  • Under this 1.5 lakh existing sub centres aims to bring health care system closer to the homes of people.
  • These centres provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.
  • List of Services to be provided at Health & Wellness Centre
    • Pregnancy care and maternal health services
    • Neonatal and infant health services
    • Child health
    • Chronic communicable diseases
    • Non-communicable diseases
    • Management of mental illness
    • Dental care
    • Eye care
    • Geriatric care Emergency medicine

 

  • It provides a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
  • This covers almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures.
  • There is no cap on family size and age in the scheme.
  • The benefit covers pre & post-hospitalisation expenses besides covering all pre-existing conditions from day one of the policy.
  • The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities.
  • It is an entitlement-based scheme decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database.

The different categories in rural and urban areas include families having:

    • Only one room with kucha walls and kucha roof, 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;
    • Landless households deriving major part of their income from manual casual labour,
    • 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.

Besides, for urban areas, 11 defined occupational categories are entitled under the scheme viz. - Occupational Categories of Workers, Rag picker, Beggar, Domestic worker, Street vendor/ Cobbler/hawker / Other service provider working on streets, Construction worker/ Plumber/ Mason/ Labour/ Painter/ Welder/ Security guard/, Coolie and another head-load worker, Sweeper/ Sanitation worker / Mali, Home-based worker/ Artisan/ Handicrafts worker / Tailor, Transport worker/ Driver/ Conductor/ Helper to drivers and conductors/ Cart puller/ Rickshaw puller, Shop worker/ Assistant/ Peon in small establishment/ Helper/Delivery assistant / Attendant/ Waiter, Electrician/ Mechanic/ Assembler/ Repair worker, Washerman/ Chowkidar.

Source:

  • https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/centre-extends-ayushman-bharat-scheme-benefits-to-transpersons-101661367250820-amp.html
  • https://nha.gov.in/PM-JAY
  • https://vikaspedia.in/health/nrhm/national-health-mission/ayushman-bharatpm-jan-arogya-yojana

 

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Keywords: General studies III: Ayushman Bharat, Transgenders, Government Schemes
News Snapshot

India: Sex Ratio at Birth


In news

A recent study by Pew Research Center has noted that the ''Sex ratio'' at birth in India has fallen from 111 boys per 100 girls in 2011 to 108 boys per 100 girls in 2019-21.

About the recent study

  • The latest study by Pew Research Center has pointed out that “son bias” is on a decline in India and the average annual number of baby girls “missing” in India fell from about 480,000 (4.8 lakh) in 2010 to 410,000 (4.1 lakh) in 2019.
    • The “missing” here refers to how many more female births would have occurred during this time if there were no female-selective abortions.
  • The report points out that between 2000 & 2019, nine crore female births went “missing” because of female-selective abortions.
  • The study points out that the sex ratio at birth (SRB) has been improving for Hindus, Muslims and Christians, but the biggest change seems to be among Sikhs - the group that previously had the greatest gender imbalance.
  • Apart from Religion, other factors tied to sex selection include:
    • NFHS data shows that women who are wealthier and more educated are less likely to favour having sons.
    • Families who live in cities also are less likely than their rural counterparts to favour having sons, according to the NFHS.

Sex Ratio at birth (SRB)

  • The Sex ratio at birth is defined as the number of female births per 1000 male birth.
  • Across the World, boys modestly outnumber girls at birth, at a ratio of approximately 105 male babies for every 100 female babies, which was the ratio in India in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Further, from a large imbalance of 111 boys per 100 girls in India’s 2011 census, the sex ratio at birth normalised slightly over the last decade, narrowing to about 109 in the 2015-16 wave of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) and to 108 boys in the 2019-21 wave of NFHS.

Reasons for skewed SRB in India

  • Preference for sons has historically led to a skewed sex ratio in favour of men.
  • The rooted misbelief that a male child would carry the family name, look after the parents in their old age, and perform the rituals on their death - while daughters would cost them dowries and leave them for their matrimonial homes.
  • The historical anti-girl bias, coupled with the easy availability of pre-natal sex screening from the 1970s, further led to increased female foeticide.
  • Sons have also been a way for families to preserve ancestral property because males generally dominate inheritance lines.

Impact of female foetus abortion

  • International research shows that societies with high rates of sex-selective abortions typically suffer within a couple of decades from a shortage of marriageable women and a surplus of men seeking brides.
  • This “marriage squeeze” can trigger a variety of social problems, such as increases in sex-related violence and crimes and trafficking of women.

Government efforts to curb sex selection

  • For the prohibition of sex selection and for regulation of prenatal diagnostic techniques, the Government enacted the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act in 1994.
  • Religious leaders, women achievers etc. are being involved in the campaign against skewed child sex ratio and discrimination against the girl child.
  • Beti Bacho Beti Padhao (BBBP) has been launched with the objective to prevent gender-biased sex selective elimination and with an aim to improve the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) by 2 points every year.

Source:

  • India’s sex ratio at birth normalises slightly
  • India’s Sex Ratio at Birth Begins To Normalize.

Image source:

  • India’s Sex Ratio at Birth Begins To Normalize.

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 1: Population and Associated Issues, social empowerment, Sex Ratio at birth.
News Snapshot

Supreme Court opposes different abortion limits for unmarried women


In news

  • The Supreme Court has recently stated that “A woman whose live-in relationship has ended should be given the same rights to end an unwanted pregnancy as a widowed or divorced woman, indicating that it will interpret the law to include “unmarried woman” or “single woman” under provisions that allow abortions till up to 24 weeks.
    • The Supreme Court made the observations while hearing a plea by a 25-year-old woman who challenged the lower 20-week limit under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971which applies to single women who seek to end a pregnancy.

Abortion law in India

  • Abortion was prohibited in India until the 1960s, and violators may face up to three years in prison and/or a fine under Section 312 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • Shantilal Shah Committee: Due to the high rate of induced abortions in the 1960s, the Union government mandated the formation of the Shantilal Shah Committee to draft the nation's abortion laws.
  • A Medical Termination Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and passed by Parliament in August 1971 based on the Shantilal Shah Committee's recommendations. 

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971

  • In order to reduce maternal mortality owing to unsafe abortions, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act was brought into force in the year 1971.
  • A single doctor's opinion was a must for abortions up to 12 weeks after conception.
  • This law is an exception to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provisions 312 and 313 and sets the rules of how and when a medical abortion can be carried out.
  • Under Section 312 of the IPC, a person who “voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry” is liable for punishment, attracting a jail term of up to three years or fine or both, unless it was done in good faith where the objective was to save the life of the pregnant woman.
  • This section effectively makes unconditional abortion illegal in India.
  • Section 313 of the IPC states that a person who causes the miscarriage without the consent of the pregnant woman, whether or not she is in the advanced stages of her pregnancy, shall be punished with life imprisonment or a jail term that could extend to 10 years, as well as a fine.

SC’s Observations

  • For the purpose of a woman’s mental health, both actual and foreseeable factors have to be borne in mind.

 

    • A woman on being deserted faces foreseeable difficulties. Such a situation where a woman is abandoned will apply to both married and unmarried women.
  • In the 1971 Act, the word 'partner' is used instead of 'husband', which implies that the legislature could not have intended to restrict the application of the provision to married women and other women with vulnerabilities as has been categorised in the Rules.
  • The specific gap was in Rule 3B(c) of the MTP Rules, 2003 which allows women who undergo a change of marital status during the pregnancy — either by way of widowhood or divorce — to undergo termination of pregnancy for up to 24 weeks.
    • Taking a case where a married woman is neither divorced nor widowed but deserted & has no source of livelihood. The right to abort her pregnancy could not be denied only because she is technically not divorced.

Judicial interventions in cases of abortions

  • The Supreme Court stated in the landmark 2017 Right to Privacy judgement in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India and others that a pregnant person's decision to continue a pregnancy or not is part of such a person's right to privacy as well as the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. However, the country's current laws do not permit unconditional abortion.
  • In February 2022, the Calcutta High Court approved a medical abortion for a 37-year-old lady who was 34 weeks pregnant and had a spinal disease that was determined to be incurable.
    • After the State Medical Board denied the woman's request for MTP, the Court approved this.
    • This ruling authorised abortion at the country's current furthest gestational age.

Way Forward

  • Public policymaking needs to be seriously rethought, taking into account all the stakeholders and putting a focus on women and their reproductive rights rather than setting boundaries that doctors cannot cross while performing abortions.
  • Such a right must be extended up to 24 weeks as all women are equally circumstanced to suffer the same mental agony of unwanted pregnancy due to failure of the birth control device.

Content Source link:

  • https://hauterrfly.com/lifestyle/supreme-court-unmarried-single-women-medical-termination-of-pregnancy-abortion/
  • https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/supreme-court-opposes-different-abortion-limits-for-unmarried-women-101661279286093-amp.html

Image Source Link:

  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/why-sc-allowed-an-unmarried-woman-to-abort-foetus/articleshow/93142778.cms

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, Government Policies & Interventions
Terms & Concepts

African Swine Fever


  • Context: More than 2,000 pigs have died due to African swine fever in Madhya Pradesh's Rewa city in the span of two weeks, prompting the administration to issue prohibitory orders, banning the transportation, purchase and sale of pigs and their meat.

  • African Swine fever is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease that infects and leads to an acute form of hemorrhagic fever in domestic and wild pigs.
  • Other manifestations of the disease include high fever, depression, anorexia, loss of appetite, etc.
  • It was first detected in Africa in the 1920s.
  • Historically, outbreaks have been reported in Africa and parts of Europe, South America, and the Caribbean.
  • The mortality is close to 95% - 100% and since the fever has no cure, the only way to stop its spread is by culling the animals.
  • The disease is not a threat to human beings since it only spreads from animals to other animals.
  • It is listed in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s  Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

Source:

  • https://www.outlookindia.com/national/madhya-pradesh-more-than-2-000-pigs-die-of-african-swine-fever-in-rewa-in-two-weeks-news-219472/amp

Image Source:

  • https://www.thestatesman.com/india/african-swine-fever-punjab-1503102257.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Science:, African Swine Fever
Terms & Concepts

Aashwasan campaign


  • Context: Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the TB division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have organized a national conclave to disseminate the learnings of the 100-day Aashwasan Campaign under the ‘Tribal TB Initiative’.
  • Tribal TB Initiative is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Central TB Division, Ministry of Health, supported by USAID as a technical partner and Piramal Swasthya as implementing partner.
  • It aims to improve the cascade of TB care and support services among Tribal populations in India.

  • Based on the Aashwasan Campaign, the centre has identified 75 tribal districts for focused Tuberculosis (TB) interventions.
  • The Campaign, started in January 2022 under Tribal TB Initiative, as a 100-day door-to-door campaign for active case finding for TB in 174 tribal districts.
  • About 2 lakh community influencers (tribal leaders, tribal healers, SHGs etc.) also participated in the campaign.
  • National Tuberculosis Elimination Program is a public health initiative of the Indian Governmentthat organizes anti-Tuberculosis efforts.
  • It functions as a flagship component of the National Health Mission (NHM) and provides technical and managerial leadership to anti-tuberculosis activities in the country.
  • As per the National Strategic Plan 2017-25,the program has a vision of achieving a "TB-free India by 2025”, with strategies under the themes of “Prevent, Detect, Treat and Build pillars for universal coverage and social protection”.

Source:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1854617

Image source:

  • https://mobile.twitter.com/tbdivision

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Governance/ GS Paper 3: Science: Aashwasan Campaign under the ‘Tribal TB Initiative’, Tuberculosis.
Terms & Concepts

UNESCO Peace Prize


  • Context: Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won UNESCO Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize 2022 for her ‘efforts to welcome refugees’.
  • Created in 1989, this annual Prize honours an individual, an institution, or a private or public body which has significantly contributed to the promotion, research, safeguarding or maintenance of peace, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the Constitution of UNESCO.

  • Angela Merkel had taken a courageous decision in 2015 to allow refugees, from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Eritrea, into Germany.
  • In 2015, Europe witnessed Migrant Crisis with refugees and asylum seekers from war and conflict zones.
  • It was at peak of this crisis that the then German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened doors of Germany to accept nearly 1.2 million Refugees in the country.
  • World-renowned figures have been conferred with this award, including Nelson Mandela, Frederik W. De Klerk, and Jimmy Carter.

Sources:

  • Angela Merkel is awarded the Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Peace Prize | UNESCO

Image source:

  • https://www.unesco.org/en/prizes/felix-houphouet-boigny-unesco-peace-prize

 

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Keywords: GS paper 2: International Relations:, UNESCO Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize 2022
Terms & Concepts

Design Led Incentive Scheme


  • Context: Around 32 companies have submitted applications for the Design-led Incentive Scheme (DLI) and Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme of telecom.
  • The DLI scheme was launched in June 2022 by the Ministry of Communications as a part of the Production Led Incentive (PLI) Scheme for the Telecom sector.
  • The DLI scheme was announced in Budget 2022-23 with an objective to build a strong ecosystem for 5G.

  • Under the Schemefinancial incentives and design infrastructure support will be extended to domestic companies, startups and MSMEs.
  • C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), a scientific society operating under MeitY, will serve as the nodal agency for the implementation of the DLI scheme.
  • PLI has a provision to provide incentives in the range of 4 to 7% and design-led manufacturers will get a 1% additional incentive over existing slabs under the PLI scheme.
  • Telecom equipment makers who use 50% of Made in India components in their products will be eligible for the design-linked incentive.

Source:

  • https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/32-cos-submit-applications-for-design-led-incentive-scheme-of-telecom-122082601374_1.html

Image source:

  • https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/32-cos-submit-applications-for-design-led-incentive-scheme-of-telecom-122082601374_1.html

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Design-led Incentive Scheme (DLI), Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, Telecom Sector, 5g, C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing).
Editorial of the day

Japan’s continuing struggle with gender parity: The Hindu


Essence - The article highlights the case of Japan, which is a developed country and yet its performance in the Gender Gap Index 2022 is abysmally low. This highlights the case that economic growth is not the sole indicator of actual social conditions.

Japanese social and cultural norms are deeply rooted in looking at men and women differently. Women are considered to have an exclusive role in household activities and to be child-bearing machines (as often highlighted in Japan’s politics and media). The result of such a biased mentality is that despite the good rate of education among women, they find it difficult to get into high-paying and permanent jobs.

Evidence from Japan suggests that high per capita income does not guarantee gender equality as the latter is usually rooted in social and cultural norms. The article while highlighting the womenomics plans of Shinzo Abe, calls for India to look into similar issues that might act as a bottleneck in helping India be a developed country by 2047.

Why should you read this article?

  • The article highlights that investing in women’s education and health may have a limited impact if it is a society trapped in gender norms.
  • The article can be used to extrapolate how other social disparities (apart from gender inequality) can act as hindrances to India’s growth.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/japans-continuing-struggle-with-gender-parity/article65823317.ece/amp/

 

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Keywords: Abenomics, Gender Gap Index, Gender Inequality, GS Paper 2, Social Issues
Editorial of the day

After Agnipath, India is in need of a Nitipath for its civil services: LiveMint


Essence – The editorial discusses the civil services reform in line with the recently launched Agnitpath scheme for military recruitment. It highlights the various constraints which prevent civil services to perform at their maximum potential. It suggests that apart from Mission Karma yogi Government can introduce “NitiPath” for recruiting a greater number of young talents at junior level administrators. It also mentions utilizing the officers who will be filtered out in state services which also faces the dearth of talented young officers and in the private sector to positively impact the economy.

Towards the end, it highlights that this suggested strategy will improve the administrator population ratio. It recommends this scheme as the driver for successful India@100.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To know about the possible means to improve public service delivery through civil services reform.

Source:

  • https://www.livemint.com/opinion/columns/after-agnipath-india-is-in-need-of-a-nitipath-for-its-civil-services/amp-11661702562888.html

 

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Keywords: GS2, Governance
Case Study of the Day

A missing pot and the unmissable caste divide


Background

The death of a Dalit boy after being thrashed by his upper-caste school principal has brought to the fore, the old normal of deep-seated discrimination in Rajasthan.

About the news

  • Two days before India celebrated its 76th Independence Day, a nine-year-old Dalit boy from Rajasthan died at a hospital, after allegedly being thrashed by his school principal.
  • According to reports, the boy was punished for quenching his thirst from a water pot reserved for the upper caste teacher.
  • However, the villagers are denying any caste discrimination, and this has forced the victim's father, to move out of their house from the village.

  • The village of the above incident has managed to do away with ill practices such as child marriage and open defecation, but not caste discrimination.
  • Further, in the same village, the Barbers from the OBC caste refuse to touch the heads of Dalits, for a haircut, which is a sign of acute discrimination.
  • Also, Dalits in Rajasthan have been killed for even sporting a moustache and received death threats for wearing a Sherwani on their wedding day.
  • Despite the state of Rajasthan having a massive presence of SC/ST population, it, however, ranks fourth, after Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh in the country, in cases of atrocities against the community.
  • As per data from the National Crime Records Bureau, the State recorded over 7,000 cases of crimes and atrocities against SC/ST community members in 2020.
  • Such acts of discrimination have become extraordinarily normal in Rajasthan, as it has been largely a feudal State, where the upper castes have control over economic resources.
  • On the whole, it is evident that the domination by upper castes and the fear of victimisation by the depressed classes, are driving them to collusion to not report any inhuman acts against them.
  • Hence, in order to eradicate the caste system, the depressed classes need to be made aware of their rights and should be made vigilant of the egalitarian model of the democratic system as well.

Quote: Caste is not a physical object like a wall of bricks or a line of barbed wire which prevents the Hindus from co-mingling and which has, therefore, to be pulled down. Caste is a notion; it is a state of the mind - B. R. Ambedkar

Source:

  • A missing pot and the unmissable caste divide

Image source:

  • A missing pot and the unmissable caste divide

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 1: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India, Social Empowerment: Caste Discrimination, Rajasthan, Depressed Classes, Dalits
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