GS PAPER II
Signing of MoU for Health Systems in Meghalaya
Why in News
- The Government of India and the World Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a $40 million project to improve the quality of health services in Meghalaya.
- This MoU will strengthen Meghalaya’s capacity to deal with future health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This project has been dubbed as “Meghalaya Health System Strengthening Project”.
Importance of the project
- The said project will enhance the management and governance capabilities of this state as well as its health facilities.
- The project will expand the design and coverage of the health insurance program in the state.
- The project will improve the quality of health services through certification and better human resource systems.
- The project will eventually enable efficient access to medicines and diagnostics.
- All 11 districts of the state will benefit from this project. It will benefit health sector employees at primary and secondary level by building their clinical skills as well as strengthening planning and management capabilities.
- At the community level, it will enable women to make better use of health services. The coverage of health services through this project will be made accessible and affordable to the poor and vulnerable.
Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS)
- The project will help strengthen the effectiveness of Meghalaya’s health insurance program called the Megha Health Insurance Scheme.
- Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme currently covers 56% of the households.
- Now, with integration with the National Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), the scheme will cover 100% of the households.
- The scheme will reduce barriers to access to hospital services and at the same time prevent devastating out-of-pocket costs for poor and vulnerable families.
- The project will move towards a performance-based financing system, with the signing of Internal Performance Agreements (IPAs) between DoHFW and its subsidiaries. Thus it will promote greater accountability at all levels.
Why in News
- The US senator has introduced a bill in the Senate proposing to exclude countries from QUAD national security discussions that are facing US sanctions under CAATSA. If this proposal is approved, then it will be difficult for India to participate in the meetings of the Quad countries.
- US sanctions against India for purchasing S-400 missile systems from Russia are under consideration.
- Senator Ted Cruz of the Republican Party from Texas has introduced the said bill in the Senate. It asked President Biden to verify that the Quad does not include any countries that have been subject to punitive action under CAATSA.
- The bill has been introduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and is co-proposed by Senator Tad Young from Indiana and Senator Marshall Roger from Kansas.
- The bill discourages the President from imposing punitive provisions of Katsa against India for buying S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.
- This bill was introduced in the Senate on 28 October 2021, but its draft was made public on 01 November 2021.
- In practical terms, the bill would discourage President Biden from invoking the punitive provisions of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against India.
- India is the only country in the Quad which is at risk of sanctions under CAATSA.
About the quad
- The Quad includes India, Japan and Australia apart from the US.
- President Biden hosted its summit on September 24 at the White House.
- A day before the bill was introduced, two influential senators Mark Warner and John Carnin wrote to Biden urging him not to invoke the Katsa provisions against India in the national interest of the US.
- US President Biden hosted the first in-person summit meeting of the Quad at the White House on 24 September 2021. However, India’s name is not there in the draft of this bill that has been made public so far.
What is CAATSA?
- The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) authorizes the US President to impose sanctions on countries that continue to be dominant from Russia after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections. Buy defense weapons.
Defense Acquisition Council (DAC)
Why in News
- The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) in its meeting held under the Chairmanship of Defense Minister on 02 November 2021 has approved the Approval of Requirement (AON) for capital acquisition proposals of Rs 7,965 crore for modernization and operational requirements of the Armed Forces. Gave.
- All these proposals (100%) are under ‘Make in India’ with focus on Design, Development and Manufacturing in India.
- Major approvals for procurement from domestic sources include twelve light utility helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); Lynx U2 Fire Control System from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which will enhance the fire detection capabilities of Naval Warships and Mid-life Upgradation of Dornier aircraft from HAL.
- As a further impetus to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign, the case for global procurement of naval guns with the quantum of these guns added to the Advanced Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) being manufactured by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has been discontinued.
- These SRGMs provide distinctive capabilities to rapidly engage maneuver targets using guided munitions and range extension and are to be fitted on warships of the Indian Navy
GS PAPER III
Why in News
- The Odisha government has announced a complete waiver of motor vehicle taxes and registration fees on Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the state.
- The state government has taken this decision to encourage faster adoption of electric vehicles.
- This exemption was given under the Odisha Motor Vehicle Taxation Act and this exemption is applicable till the year, 2025.
- The state government has also proposed some incentives for manufacturers, buyers, batteries and charging stations of electric vehicles, as per the Odisha Electric Vehicle Policy.
- Odisha government has announced to provide 100 percent rebate in motor vehicle taxes and registration fee for battery operated vehicles.
- State Transport Ministry has proposed to increase the subsidy by 15% on two wheelers, three wheelers and four wheelers.
- The maximum amount should not exceed Rs.5,000, Rs.12,000 and Rs.100,000 on the vehicles concerned.
- The ministry has also proposed to provide interest free loans on electric vehicles to state government employees.
- The proposal also proposes to provide incentives to government departments and PSUs to hire such vehicles.
- Other related proposals include concessional parking charges, electric vehicles in municipal areas and battery charging facilities at parking spaces.
- The Transport Department had submitted a proposal to the Odisha government to allow subsidy on e-vehicles to attract customers.
- The Odisha government has now approved this proposal. However, this subsidy will not be given on the basis of battery capacity like other states including Delhi and Gujarat.
- e-vehicle policy
- Apart from FAME II scheme, states like Delhi, Kerala, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have implemented “e-vehicle policy”.
State Investigation Agency (SIA)
Why in News
- Recently the Jammu and Kashmir administration has given approval for the creation of a new Special Investigation Agency by the name of State Investigation Agency (SIA).
- State Investigation Agency (SIA) has been formed on the lines of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Jammu and Kashmir. This agency will coordinate with the NIA and other central agencies.
- According to the order issued by the Home Department of the state government on 01 November 2021, the SIA will have a director. In this, officers and employees will be sent by the government.
- The CID will be the Honorary Director of the lead agency. A special incentive amount of 25 percent of the basic salary will be given to the employees posted in SIA.
- It has been said in the order that all the station in-charges will immediately inform the SIA about the registration of cases related to terrorism.
- State Investigation Agency (SIA) has been constituted for effective curbing of terrorism.
- This agency will take effective investigation of terrorism related cases as well as prosecution action.
- The SIA will mainly investigate cases related to terrorism and related crimes.
- SIA will be the nodal agency to coordinate with the “National Investigation Agency” (NIA) and other central agencies and conduct quick and effective investigation of terrorism related cases.
- All terrorist acts including crimes related to terrorism, terrorist financing and circulation of high quality counterfeit India currency notes will come under the purview of SIA.
- Cases of large conspiracy related to terrorism and cases of terrorism related propaganda, false narrative, large-scale incitement, spreading discontent, kidnapping and murder, ATM and bank robbery, arms robbery, enmity against Indian Union will also be part of it.
- Even if the angle of terrorism is found during the investigation, it will have to be reported. The DGP can hand over the investigation of any case to the SIA keeping in mind the seriousness of the crime, the progress of the investigation and other points.
- If the investigation is not handed over to the SIA, the Police Headquarters will ensure that the progress of the investigation is shared from time to time.
- SIA can register an FIR by taking suo motu cognizance of any case, but the information will have to be given to the DGP.
- SOG and BDS of J&K Police will get Special Security Allowance.
- Operation staff will get 25 percent of basic pay and non-operational staff will get 12.50 percent security allowance.
- According to the order issued by the Home Department, the highship allowance of SOG and Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) will be same as that of other policemen.
Provisional State of Climate Report, 2021
Why in News
- The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that, within a period of 10 years, the global mean sea level has increased two-fold.
- On the eve of the World Leaders’ Summit at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26), the WMO’s Provisional State of Climate Report for 2021 states that the average global sea level rise between 1993 and 2002 2.1 mm per year and between 2013 and 2021 the increase was 4.4 mm per year.
- This was mostly due to the loss of ice mass from glaciers and ice sheets. Arctic sea ice was below its maximum level in March this year, below the 1981-2010 average.
- The WMO also said that, in June and early July this year, the amount of sea ice in the Laptev Sea and East Greenland Sea regions is decreasing rapidly.
- As a result, the extent of Arctic sea ice was at a record low in the first half of July (the first 15 days).
- The World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Climate in Asia report last week said that India lost $87 billion last year due to disasters like tropical cyclones, floods and droughts.
- Climate scientists said that the rapid rise in sea level could put India’s land area of more than 7,500 km at risk.
- The oceans have registered extreme warming this year, ie, 2021. The upper 2,000 meter depth of the ocean continued to warm in 2019, reaching a new record level, but a preliminary analysis based on seven global data sets suggests that the year 2020 had even exceeded that record. .
- The global mean temperature for the year 2021 (based on January to September data) was about 1.09 °C above the year, 1850-1900 average.
- The six data sets used by the WMO in the current analysis rank the year 2021 as the sixth or seventh warmest year on record globally. But this ranking may change by the end of this year.