National Science Day 2018 :-
- India celebrates its National Science Day every year on February 28 to mark Dr. C.V. Raman’s discovery of the scattering of light, also known as the “Raman effect”.
- The theme of National Science day 2018 is “Science and Technology for sustainable future.”
Why Science Day?
The Indian Constitution states that :-
” It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.”
- To encourage young minds and people as well.
- To give an opportunity to the scientific minded citizens in the country.
- To show the importance of science in everyday life by discussing all the issues and implement new technologies for the development in the field of science.
Only 13% of over hundred tiger conservation areas meet global standards :-
Survey of tiger conservation areas
- The survey has found that only 13 per cent of tiger conservation areas meet global standards
- It is a survey of over a hundred tiger conservation areas by 11 leading conservation organisations and countries with tiger ranges that are part of the Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS) Partnership
Other particulars of the survey
- The surveyed area is home to approximately 70 per cent of the world’s wild tigers
- At least one-third of these areas are severely at risk of losing their tigers and most of these sites are in southeast Asia
- According to survey, despite poaching being one of the greatest threats faced by the big cats, 85 per cent of the areas surveyed do not have the staff capacity to patrol sites effectively
- 61 per cent of the areas in Southeast Asia have very limited anti-poaching enforcement.
Draft Bill on Human Trafficking :-
Bill to stop human trafficking :-
- The Union Cabinet approved the draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018
- The proposed legislation addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation
Key Provisions :-
- The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will act as the nodal authority for probing cases of human trafficking
- The bill also proposes a punishment of life imprisonment for repeat offenders
- Aggravated forms of trafficking, which includes trafficking for the purpose of forced labor, begging, trafficking by administering chemical substance or hormones on a person for the purpose of early sexual maturity would carry a jail term of seven to 10 years
- Trafficking of a woman or child for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage or after marriage would carry a punishment of at least 10 years in jail, which can be extended to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs 1 lakh
- The draft Bill also moots three years in jail for abetting, promoting and assisting trafficking
Relief measures :-
- The proposed legislation recommends a national anti-trafficking relief and rehabilitation committee which would be headed by Secretary, WCD Ministry
- The Bill provides for interim relief immediately to victims within 30 days to address their trauma and further appropriate relief within 60 days from the date of filing of chargesheet
- The NIA will receive financial aid under Nirbhaya fund for safety of women in order to set up a cell for investigating human trafficking
National Health Protection Scheme: Challenges :-
The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), announced in the latest budget, is being hailed as the world’s largest public healthcare programme, which will cover about 40 per cent of India’s population. While any public effort at providing free healthcare to the poor is welcome, this is not the first public health insurance programme in the country.
Many states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Tamil Nadu, have successfully implemented health insurance programmes, easily covering over 50 crore people.
NHPS will have to consider many critical aspects.
- Total cost-
There is a token provision of Rs 2,000 crore in the budget. However, the total cost is likely to be nearer Rs 20,000 crore per year. A new 1 per cent cess will make about Rs 11,000 crore available to the government in a year.
- Identification of the initial 10 crore families-
Any criteria, other than family income, will cause a huge discontent.
How will a village-level functionary select 40 per cent of the people and leave out the rest? Will these remaining families be covered later?
The government could alternately consider a universal roll-out for all the poor households, even at a lower level of maximum insurance cover, depending on the resource availability.
- The list of medical procedures to be covered in the scheme-
Disease profile varies across the country.
Each state must be given the flexibility to curate its own list of medical procedures.
- Selecting the insurance provider–
This is an extremely complex process.
Each step — such as the design of the tender documents, contracts and legal agreements, payment terms, penalties for non-compliance, prior experience — must be considered carefully. Otherwise, it could invite legal challenges.
- The accreditation of participating hospitals–
If due care is not taken in selecting the right hospitals, it can derail the entire programme.
The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) is a glaring example- Many private hospitals registered under the RSBY were reported to have indulged in malpractices such as prescribing unnecessary diagnostic testing and hospitalisation.
- Implementation of such a large health insurance scheme will require humongous preparation in the creation of infrastructure such as central data centre, software development, data entry, issuance of health cards, call centers for pre-authorisation, and claims settlement, hospital accreditation and online accounting.
- Trained personnel (aarogya mitra) must be posted in each of the participating hospitals.
Insurance-based intervention in the health sector can only be a partial solution. The government cannot, and must not, abdicate its responsibility of providing a high-quality and affordable public health infrastructure.