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Cabinet Approves ‘Ayushman Bharat’, the World’s Biggest Health Protection Scheme

The scheme will provide 10 crore poor and vulnerable families in the country health cover worth 5 lakh rupees.

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Union Cabinet approves the launch of National Health Protection Mission Ayushman Bharat; the scheme will see over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families in the country getting health cover worth 5 lakh rupees.

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 21 has approved the launch of Ayushman Bharat.

The scheme has a 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.

Cabinet also approves moving of official amendments in Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016.

Union Cabinet has also approved the continuation of the National Health Mission – with effect from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2020 with a budgetary support of Rs. 85,217 crore as Central Share over this period.

Cabinet has also approved the continuation of the Prime Minister’s Development Package for Jammu & Kashmir 2015 – “Stepping up of support by creation of Infrastructure in District Hospitals, Sub-district Hospitals and Primary Health Centers over 5 years” – with effect from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2020 with a budgetary support of Rs. 625.20 crores as total centrally-funded scheme.

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for Central Sector Scheme “Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry” for the next three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The Scheme has four components –

1. Research & Development (R&D), Training, Transfer of Technology and IT Initiatives

2. Seed Organizations and farmers extension centres

3. Coordination and Market Development for seed, yarn and silk products and

4. Quality Certification System by creating amongst others a chain of Silk Testing facilities, Farm-based and post-cocoon Technology Up-gradation, and export brand promotion.

A total allocation of Rs.2161.68 Crore has been approved for the implementation of the Scheme for three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

Cabinet has also approved the North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS), 2017 with financial outlay of Rs.3000 crores up to March 2020.

The government will provide necessary allocations for the remaining period of the scheme after assessment before March 2020. NEIDS is a combination of the incentives covered under the earlier two schemes with a much larger outlay.

Ayushman Bharat – world’s biggest health protection scheme

All groundwork has been laid by the govt for rolling out its ambitious National Health Protection Scheme Ayushman Bharat. 10 crore poor and vulnerable families will get a medical cover of 5 lakh rupees to take care of their health. A little over 6 weeks after its announcement, the govt has prepared nearly 1,300 packages for providing free health care to over 50 crore people in the country.

Finance Minister Arun Jailey had made the announcement of the world’s most ambitious health care scheme during his budget speech on the 1st of February.

The govt will contribute 60% of the expenses for the scheme. The rest will come from states. The figure will be 90% North-East and hill states and 100% for all union territories. An authority will also be constituted to regulate the scheme’s implementation. Hospitals will treat and then get re-imbursed.

According to the scheme, the work of appointing a special nodal officer and identifying beneficiaries on the of basis socio-economic and caste data has been assigned. The families will be linked to Aadhar database through which they will get their reimbursement directly in their bank accounts.

Apart from this, the govt will also start 24 govt medical colleges and hospitals by upgrading existing district level govt hospitals. This scheme will see at least 1 medical college come up in every 3 Lok Sabha constituencies or one in each district.

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Diu Smart City Becomes First to Run on 100% Renewable Energy During Daytime

Diu had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year.

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DIU (UT): Diu Smart City has become the first city in India that runs on 100% renewable energy during the daytime, thereby setting a new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green.

Diu had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year. It has now adopted a two-pronged approach whereby a 9 MW solar park spread over 50 hectares rocky barren land has been developed besides installing solar panels on the rooftops on 79 government buildings thereby generating 1.3 MW annually.

To further enhance its solar capacity, Diu offers its residents a subsidy of Rs 10, 000-50,000 for installing 1-5KW rooftop solar panels.

Diu is saving about 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Due to low-cost solar energy, power tariffs have been cut in the residential category by 10% last year and 15% this year.

Other ‘Smart’ Activities in India:

To improve traffic management in Bengaluru Smart City, a prototype of an intelligent traffic management solution is currently being tested in collaboration with the Electronics City Township Authority (ELCITA).

It will provide traffic information that is currently unavailable, and help improve management of commuter traffic. It involves capturing video streams from several cameras and processing them using artificial intelligence so that typical traffic management tasks such as vehicle detection, traffic density estimation and control of traffic lights can be automated for real-time performance.

To revitalise urban public spaces and socially activating the area beside generating economic activity, Jaipur Smart City Ltd (JSCL) has planned to develop night bazaar at Chaura Rasta, in the heart of the Pink city.

The JSCL would register up to 700 vendors who will be allowed to set up stalls, including eateries, between 9 pm and 1 am. The project will provide entertainment, culture and shopping to citizens after office hours.

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President Gives Nod to Ordinance for Death Penalty for Rapists of Children Below 12

There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

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NEW DELHI: President ram Nath Kovind promulgated The Criminal Law amendment ordinance, 2018 to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to pave way for a death penalty to those found guilty of raping children up to the age of 12 years.

The President’s nod to the ordinance came after the Union Cabinet’s approval yesterday for tightening the law against people involved in rape, following public outcry over cases of sexual assault and murder of minors in Kathua and Surat and the rape of a girl in Unnao.

“Whereas Parliament is not in session and the President is satisfied that the circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.

Earlier, the Cabinet on Saturday approved the promulgation of an Ordinance to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 to introduce the death penalty for rape of children younger than 12 years.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

Several political leaders cutting across party lines hailed Centre’s move.

“Now, therefore, in an exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to promulgate the following ordinance,” the gazette notification said.

The ordinance stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 16 and 12 years.

The death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls under 12 years.

The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from the rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

According to the ordinance, in case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which means jail term till the convicts “natural life”.

The punishment for gangrape of a girl below 16 years will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of life of the convict.

Stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence.

Gangrape of a girl under 12 years of age will invite punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death, it said.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stand amended with the promulgation of the ordinance after the approval of the President.

The measure also provides for speedy investigation and trial.The time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months.

The deadline for the completion of a trial in all rape cases will be two months.

A six-month time limit for the disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed.

There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

It has also been prescribed that a court has to give notice of 15 days to a public prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.

Enhancing the powers of the judiciary to provide stringent punishment in rape cases, the Union Cabinet had approved a number of measures, such as strengthening the prosecution, besides setting up new fast-track courts in consultation with the states and high courts concerned,  according to an official.

The National Crime Records Bureau will maintain a national database and profile of sexual offenders.

This data will be regularly shared with the states and the Union territories for tracking, monitoring and investigation, including verification of antecedents of sex offenders by the police, the official said.

The present scheme of One Stop Centres for assistance to the victim will also be extended to all districts in the country.

 

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DARPAN-PLI, App for Postal Life Insurance Launched

The hand-held devices will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas. 

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NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Communication Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN-Postal Life Insurance App on April 17 in New Delhi.

The DARPAN-PLI App will help in collection of premium for postal life insurance and rural postal life insurance policies at branch post offices anywhere in India, with online updation of the policies.

Speaking on the occasion, Sinha said, these initiative will help Department of Posts in providing better after-sales service to customers, particularly those living in rural areas of the country.

He said, with a view to achieve total digitisation of postal operations in the country, the department has launched Digital Advancement of Rural Post office for a new India (DARPAN) Project, which aims at connecting all one lakh 29 thousand Rural Branch Post Offices.

The Hand-held devices installed under DARPAN Project will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas.

Customers in these areas can now avail the facility of online Core Banking, booking of Registered and Speed Post articles, booking of Money Orders, deposit of Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance premium through these hand-held devices.

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