Union Government Releases National Health Profile 2015

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released the National Health Profile (NHP) 2015 prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI). The E-book (digital version) of NHP was also released for the first time. This is the 11th edition of NHP. The National Health Profile covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, along with comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health. NHP 2015 for the first time also incorporates the health data from ESIC and Railways. The NHP 2015 indicates that significant progress has been made in the country for various health outcomes, which is an encouraging signal.
Highlights of the National Health Profile 2015: Every government hospital serves an estimated 61000 people in India with one bed for every 1833 people. In undivided Andhra Pradesh, every government hospital serves over 3 lakh patients while in Bihar; there is only one bed for every 8800 people. Every government allopathic doctor serves a population of over 11000 people, with Bihar and Maharashtra having the worst ratios. India now has cumulatively 9.4 lakh allopathic doctors, 1.54 lakh dental surgeons and 7.37 lakh AYUSH doctors of who more than half are Ayurvedic doctors. India’s 400 medical colleges admit an estimated 47000 students annually.
Cancer Data: As per NHP 2015 data, there will be 19 per cent increase in cancer among men by 2020 with mouth cancer registering the highest spike and a 23 per cent increase among women with gall bladder cancer showing the sharpest increase. The cancer incidence in men will rise from the current 522164 to 622203 in 2020. Despite the countrywide ban on gutkha, mouth cancer will register a 51 per cent jump. There will be a 48 per cent increase in prostate cancer, 31 per cent increase in liver cancer and 22 per cent increase in lung cancer.
Spread of Communicable diseases in India as per NHP 2015: Deaths from most communicable diseases have been falling steadily in India. Despite recording over 10 lakh cases, deaths from malaria are officially down to just over 500 annually. Odisha accounted for over one in three cases of malaria in 2014. The number of recorded Chikungunya cases has fallen since a 2010 outbreak, but Maharashtra accounts for nearly half of all cases. Just over 40000 cases of dengue were officially reported in 2014 and 131 deaths. While the number of cases of Acute Diarrhoeal Disease has risen every year to 1.16 crore in 2014, mortality from the disease has been steadily declining. However, 2014 saw a sharp spike in cases and deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, a disease concentrated in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, and West Bengal. Japanese Encephalitis concentrated in Assam and Uttar Pradesh also rose last year. Pulmonary tuberculosis remains the biggest communicable disease killer in India, accounting for over 63000 deaths in 2014.

SC allows use of Aadhar Card for all Central and State Welfare schemes
The Supreme Court allowed the use of Aadhar cards for all central and state schemes, including Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and employee provident fund and pension schemes, on voluntary basis. After the concession, the citizens can avail benefits under welfare schemes. Also, the absence of an Aadhar card will not disallow people from benefiting from these schemes.

MoU for Swavlamban Health Insurance

Scheme for Disabled Persons Signed
The Trust Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, under the Department of Empowerment of People with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MOSJ&E), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the New India Assurance Company Limited. The MoU aims at providing an affordable health insurance, Swavlamban Health Insurance Scheme, for the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). It also aims to improve the general health condition & quality of life of persons with disabilities.
Features: The insurance scheme will provide comprehensive cover to the PwD beneficiary, spouse and two children. The insurance will have a single premium across age band. It can be availed by the beneficiary aged between 18 years and 65 years with family income of less than 300000 rupees per annum. The scheme will also provide health insurance cover of up to 200000 rupees per annum as family floater. Under the MoU, the New India Assurance Company Limited will build a network of hospitals to provide cashless treatment to the insured. The scheme will be implemented through active participation of the National Institutes and Composite Regional Centres for Persons with Disabilities (CRC’s) under the DEPwD, MOSJ&E.

Article 370 is a permanent part of the Constitution
Jammu & Kashmir HC has ruled that Article 370 granting special status to the state has a permanent place in the Indian Constitution and is beyond amendment, abrogation or repeal. Article 35A also gives protection to current laws working in the state. Though entitled as Temporary Provision and included in the Para XXI titled ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’, the article has assumed a permanent position in the Constitution. Court also said President under Article 370 (1) is conferred with power to extend any provision of the Constitution to the State with such “exceptions and modifications” as deemed suitable subject to consultation and/or concurrence with the State government.

WHO announces life saving drugs for all HIV patients   
For the first time, WHO has indicated that everyone with HIV will be offered life saving drugs at the time of diagnosis. WHO has indicated that governments do not have to wait till the disease progresses, which was part of the earlier procedure, to initiate Antiretroviral Therapy/ART. ART is free in India under National Aids Control Programme but treatment is not provided for every HIV patient. ART was earlier initiated depending upon the infection stage. All populations and age groups are now eligible for treatment. Recent findings indicate early use of ART keeps people living with HIV alive and more healthy with less likelihood of transmitting the virus. Based on the initial recommendation, persons eligible for antiretroviral treatment will increase to 37 million from 28 million. Change in global HIV policy could avert close to over 20 million deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030.

Central Victim Compensation Fund set up with 200 crore rupees
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs introduced a scheme called Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF) with an initial amount of 200 crore rupees. The scheme aims at enabling support to victims of various attacks, such as rape, acid attacks, human trafficking and women killed or injured in the cross border firing. States were asked to accordingly modify the State Victim Compensation Schemes to reduce inconsistency in quantum of compensation amount notified by them and claim financial support from the CVCF.

DRDO launches world’s highest terrestrial research and development DIHAR centre at Chang La
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) inaugurated an Extreme Altitude Research Centre/ DIHAR at Chang La, Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir at 17600 feet above mean sea level. This has the distinction of being world’s highest terrestrial research and development centre. Situated 75 km off Leh town in Pangong Lake, Defence Institute of High Altitude Research/ DIHAR will promote R&D in areas of food and agriculture as well as bio medical sciences for safety of soldiers in high altitude cold desert. DIHAR was formally known as Field Research Lab and it was established in the 1960s, under the supervision of India’s first PM Jawahar Lal Nehru.

PMJDY deposits exceed INR 25,000 crore with balances in 60% of accounts 
A fresh milestone has been attained under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana with deposits in accounts now going beyond INR 25,000 crore and accounts having balances in them now exceeding 60%. The deposits opened under PMJDY are low cost. Accounts which can be opened under PMJDY namely Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account which can be attained with zero balance. The deposits collected till date were pegged at INR 25146.97 crore. Zero balance accounts have fallen to less than 40%.

Union Cabinet approves proposals for setting up 3 new AIIMS   
Union Cabinet has approved proposal for establishing three new AIIMS at Nagpur (Maharashtra), Manglagiri (AP) and Kalyani (WB) under the PMSSY at cost of INR 4949 crore. The proposed AIIMS will have a capacity of 960 beds along with admin block, teaching block, theatre, nursing college, nice shelter, hostel and residential facilities as well as AYUSH block. Of the total expenditure of Rs 4949 crore, the cost of the new AIIMS at Manglagiri in Andhra Pradesh will be Rs 1618 crore, at Nagpur in Maharashtra of Rs 1577 crore and at Kalyani in West Bengal of Rs 1754 crore.

Drug major Cipla inks pact
with SII
Pharma major Cipla through its subsidiary Cipla Medoro Pty has entered into an exclusive agreement with the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer SII to supply vaccines. Diploma will use the partnership to address national vaccine storage. Pune based SII has presence in 140 countries and 1.3 billion doses have been manufactured and sold by it. Agreement holds that the Cipla subsidiary will become the holder of MCC regulatory approvals with respect to product registrations and marketing authorizations.

Draft of Revised Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour released
The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment released the draft of Revised Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour. The revised scheme seeks to address anomalies associated with the original scheme of 1978 like low rehabilitation package, lack of provisions for special category beneficiaries, lack of monitoring, etc.

It will be a Central Sector Scheme (CSS) unlike the original scheme which is a Central Sponsored Scheme (CSS). Hence, the Union Government will bear the entire expenditure under the scheme. The rehabilitation package will be 1 lakh rupees per adult male beneficiary. For special category beneficiaries such as young children including orphans, girl child rescued from beggar rings and forced prostitution the package will be of 2 lakh rupees. For disabled people the package will be 3 lakh rupees The amount of assistance for survey of bonded laborers shall be 4.50 lakh rupees per sensitive district. The expenditure on awareness generation will be to the tune of maximum 10 lakh rupees per state.

Minister of Social

Justice and Empowerment launches Accessible India campaign
Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry launched the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) that focuses on building accessible government buildings for persons with disabilities (PwDs). The campaign was initiated by the government to increase the accessibility of the physical environment in the country. In addition, the campaign focuses on enhancing the accessibility and usability of Public Transport, and information & communication. The department has planned to make public buildings in 50 cities of the country including four cities of Maharashtra namely Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Nagpur accessible to PwDs. The states will pick at least 50-100 public buildings that will be made accessible to PwDs via retrofitting of ramps, lifts, toilets and signage. Motorized tricycles costing about 45000 rupees each for which the centre will give 30000 rupees subsidy each will be provided to people with 70-90% disability.

Supreme Court declares NJAC unconstitutional
Supreme Court has declared National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 and 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014 unconstitutional and void. Ruling in this regard was given by five-judge Constitutional Bench of SC headed by Justice J S Khehar on a petition were filed by Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) and others. SC bench has held that Collegium system will remain operative which was established by its earlier ruling of in 1993 for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary. The petitions had challenged the new law on the selection and appointment of judges mentioning that it is unconstitutional and aimed at hurting the independence of judiciary.

The parliament had unanimously passed the NJAC Act, 2014 and the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act. Both acts were meant to replace the two-decade old collegium system of judges appointing judges in higher judiciary. These Acts were passed in order to bring transparency in appointment of Judges and give executive i.e. elected public representatives a role in the appointment process. The Constitutional Amendment Act was then ratified by 20 State Assemblies and had received the Presidential assent on 31 December 2014 and became effective from April 2015.

The NJAC was supposed to have 6 members, three from Judiciary comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) as its Chairperson and ex officio member and 2 other senior most judges of SC. While, other three members were Union Minister of Law and Justice (ex-officio) and 2 eminent persons.

Census 2011 data on Households with or without Educational

level of matriculation and above
The Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India released the Census 2011 data on Households with at least one member aged 15 years and above with or without educational level of matriculation and above by Household Size. The released data shows an increase of 10 per cent in the decade 2001-2011 over the decade 1991-2001. Around 122.9 million, which is 49.5 per cent of the total households in India, with at least one member of age 15 years and above, had one matriculate or more in the decade 2001-2011. During the decade 1991-2001, there were 39.4 per cent of households in India with at least one matriculate and above. The number of households with at least one graduate and above was 41.4 million (16.7 per cent) in India in 2011. There were around 23.6 million (12.2 per cent) households with at least one graduate and above in 2001. There are 21.9 million (8.8%) households with at least one female graduate and about 33.2 million (13.4%) households with at least one male graduate and above.

Govt. launches ‘Sehat’ to provide healthcare
facilities in rural areas
The government launched a telemedicine initiative Sehat in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals to provide healthcare facilities in rural areas. Under the initiative people will be able to consult doctors through video link and also order generic drugs. The Common Service Centres (CSCs) have been delivering tele-consultation services with support from Apollo and Medanta Hospitals in some areas.  With this initiative the tele-consultation services are being extended to 60,000 centres across the country.  The CSCs will also provide diagnostic services and promote sale of generic drugs through collaboration with Health Ministry by setting up Jan Aushadhi Stores.

Additional employment of 50 days over and above 100 days under MGNREGA

The Union Cabinet has given its expost facto approval to provide an additional 50 days of unskilled manual work in the financial year over and above the 100 days assured to job card holders, in such rural areas where drought or natural calamities have been notified. This will enable States to provide additional wage employment to
the rural poor in drought affected areas.he poorest rural households will benefit from this, as it will help in
immediate absorption of rural seasonal unemployment, and reduce ruraldistress.
To provide immediate relief to farmers, in view of the deficit monsoon during Kharif 2015, the Government of India has already taken a number of decisions. Orders on these
measures have already been issued to all State Governments, which will implement them on the basis of
assessed need.