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Daily Category  (Governance)

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

Context:

  • PM to launch Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission on 27th September.

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission : ????? ?????? ????? ????? ?????, ????  ????? Digital Health Card? ????? ?????????

Key Details:

  • The pilot project of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission was announced by the Prime Minister from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August, 2020.

  • Initially, this project was being implemented in pilot phase in six Union Territories.

  • The nation-wide rollout of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission coincides with NHA celebrating the third anniversary of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY).

About Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

  • Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will create a seamless online platform through the provision of a wide-range of data, information and infrastructure services, duly leveraging open, interoperable, standards-based digital systems while ensuring the security, confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information.

  • The Mission will enable access and exchange of longitudinal health records of citizens with their consent.

Key components of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

  • It includes a health ID for every citizen that will also work as their health account, to which personal health records can be linked and viewed with the help of a mobile application;

  • Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR); and

  • Healthcare Facilities Registries (HFR) that will act as a repository of all healthcare providers across both modern and traditional systems of medicine.

Significance:

  • This will ensure ease of doing business for doctors/hospitals and healthcare service providers.

  • Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission Sandbox, created as a part of the Mission, will act as a framework for technology and product testing.

    • It will help organizations, including private players, intending to be a part of National Digital Health Ecosystem become a Health Information Provider or Health Information User or efficiently link with building blocks of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.

  • This Mission will create interoperability within the digital health ecosystem, similar to the role played by the Unified Payments Interface in revolutionizing payments.

  • Citizens will only be a click-away from accessing healthcare facilities.

Ayushman Bharat Programme

  1. The Ayushman Bharat programme was launched in 2018 to address health issues at all levels – primary, secondary, and tertiary. It has two components:

    • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), earlier known as the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)

    • Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs)

  2. Ayushman Bharat is an integrated approach comprising health insurance and primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare.

  3. The HWCs are aimed at improving access to cheap and quality healthcare services at the primary level.

  4. PM-JAY will cover the financial protection for availing healthcare services at the secondary and tertiary levels.

  5. Ayushman Bharat is the largest government-funded healthcare programme in the world with over 50 crore beneficiaries.

Source: PIB

Why has CCI Penalised Beer Companies UB, Carlsberg and Spared AB InBev?

Context:

  • The Competition Commission of India has imposed penalties for cartelisation in the sale and supply of beer.

Key Details:

  • The Competition Commission of India has imposed penalties of Rs 873 crore on United Breweries Ltd (UBL), Carlsberg India Pvt Ltd (CIPL), All India Brewers Association (AIBA) and 11 individuals for cartelisation in the sale and supply of beer.

  • Anheuser Busch InBev India was also found to be part of the cartel fixing beer prices but did not face a fine as it was the first company to provide key evidence in the investigation.

Why are beer companies being penalised

  • Investigation found regular communications between the three companies to coordinate price hikes submitted to state authorities for approval.

  • Representatives of the beer companies held discussions among themselves about prospective quotes and the way forward with state excise departments and used to meet with excise authority under the umbrella of the AIBA so that they would have a better chance of getting proposed price increases approved.

  • The AIBA was also fined for its role in arranging discussion.

  • The CCI cited multiple instances of the companies making identical price revisions for competing products.

  • In the case of Maharashtra, the CCI found that price revisions by UBL and AB InBev since 2011 showed an “uncanny closeness” in timing with Carlsberg India also joining the two companies in making price revisions around the same time since April 2014.

  • The CCI found that beer companies also coordinated cuts in supply of beer in Odisha, Maharashtra and West Bengal to oppose moves by state governments to hike excise duties or reduce the price of beer.

  • The CCI also found that UBL and AB InBev had agreements on the price at which they would procure used bottles from bottle collectors for reuse at their breweries.

What was the rationale of the beer companies?

  • Key managerial personnel from the beer companies cited the need to seek approvals from state authorities for any price revisions as a key reason for the need for coordination among competitors.

  • In one case an executive at UBL said that as price changes were only permitted on three specific dates in a year in Karnataka, competitors would exchange notes and price main products similarly to “ensure that they do not suffer huge losses as a result of this policy.”

  • In its submission to the CCI UBL said that “draconian laws and practices adopted by the states make it impossible for Beer companies to compete in the ordinary course of business,” highlighting the fact that the final price of their products was subject to the approval of state authorities.

  • The CCI noted that such state policies “cannot be taken as an excuse for entering into price co-ordination by the parties.”

Competition Commission of India

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is the chief national competition regulator in India.

  • It is a statutory body within the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and is responsible for enforcing The Competition Act, 2002 in order to promote competition and prevent activities that have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.

  • The commission was established on 14 October 2003.

  • The Commission comprises a Chairperson and not less than 2 and not more than 6 other members appointed by the Central Government.

Source: IE

K Kasturirangan Committee on National Curriculum Frameworks (NCFs)

Context:

  • The Union education ministry formed a 12-member committee, under chairmanship of K Kasturirangan, to develop new curriculums for:

    • School,

    • Early childhood,

    • Teacher and

    • Adult education.

NCERT set for mega review of 2005 curriculum guidelines | India News -  Times of India

K Kasturirangan committee:

  • The K Kasturirangan panel tasked with developing four national curriculum frameworks (NCFs).

  • Earlier he headed by National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) drafting committee.

  • Kasturirangan is also a former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

National Curriculum Frameworks (NCFs) committee:

  • The Union education ministry formed a 12-member committee, under chairmanship of K Kasturirangan.

  • The NCFs serve as a guideline for syllabus, textbook and teaching practices for schools in India.

  • This will be the fifth NCF.

  • It comes after a gap of 16 years.

  • It will be in accordance with reforms outlined in the NEP.

  • Tenure of Panel: Three years. 

  • Members of the panel: It include

    • Chancellor of National Institute of Education Planning and Administration, Mahesh Chandra Pant;

    • Chairman of National Book Trust, Govind Prasad Sharma;

    • Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia Najma Akhtar;

    • Vice Chancellor of Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh T V Kattimani;

    • Chairperson of IIM Jammu Milind Kamble and

    • Guest professor at IIT Gandhinagar Michel Danino and many more.

Key Features:

  • Not Top to down exercise: The development of the new curriculums will not be a top to down exercise.

  • District-level consultations: DLC will be held after states and union territories come up with their own curriculum before the NCFs are put in place.

  • COVID-19 Impact: While developing the NCFs, the committee will also reflect upon the implications of situations such as COVID-19.

  • The committee may invite subject experts, scholars, educationists, etc. as and when required.

  • Stakeholders: The committee will finalise NCFs after incorporating suggestions received from various stakeholders such as states, union territories, NCERT and the Central Advisory Board on Education.

Terms of reference of the committee:

  • It will develop four NCFs for:

    • School,

    • Early childhood,

    • Teacher and

    • Adult education.

  • While developing NCF, keep in focus all the recommendations of NEP-2020 related to these four areas for proposing curriculum reforms.

  • Different aspects: The committee will discuss different aspects of school education, early childhood care and education (ECCE), teacher education and adult education.

  • Position papers: The committee will discuss “position papers” finalised by national focus groups on different aspects of the four areas drawing inputs from state curriculum frameworks.

Source: Indian Express

Unpacking The Telecom Reforms Package

Context:

  • On September 15, the Union Cabinet approved a set of nine structural and procedural reforms to address the short-term liquidity needs as well as long-term issues of telecom companies.

Impact of reforms on telcos:

  • One of the most crucial and timely, which will provide short-term relief to debt-laden Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, is a four-year moratorium on payment of dues arising due to the Supreme Court’s September 1, 2020 judgment on adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

  • Another four-year moratorium on payment of spectrum purchased in past auctions, barring the 2021 auction, is also likely to provide relief.

  • Although the government will charge interest if the companies opt for the moratorium, analysts feel it could provide the telecom sector a breather of roughly Rs 45,000 crore per year for the next four years.

  • Measures such as streamlining of the auction calendar and removal of the spectrum usage charges (SUC) from auctions, too, are likely to bring down the dues outgo, while helping telcos plan their auction purchase.

  • For the telcos to benefit from the reduced SUC, however, they will have to buy more spectrum in upcoming auctions.

How far can the measures be expected to help save Vodafone Idea’s market?

  • Although the government insists these measures would be for everyone, it is Vodafone Idea, with a net debt of close to Rs 1.9 lakh crore, that will benefit the most in the near future.

  • The company, however, will need to raise adequate capital urgently, and go for a sizeable hike in 4G tariff for prepaid customers.

  • The onus now shifts to the company to successfully complete its long-delayed capital raise, accelerate network investments, stem its subscriber losses, and (eventually) raise ARPUs (average revenue per user), all of which come with their fair share of challenges and uncertainties.

  • Vodafone Idea will also have to fend off increased competition from Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel, which have more breathing space and manageable debt situation.

  • The option of moratorium is open for all.

  • While Vodafone Idea focuses on revival, which is a possibility now, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel can go back to being more aggressive whether it is in terms of offering better network and services or extremely competitive tariffs and add-ons.