Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS | 27th October 2021

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1.  Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission

UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II– Issues relating to Health
Sub Theme: Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission | AB-PMJAY | UPSC

Context: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.

  • The Prime Minister said that PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission aims to tackle this deficiency. The aim is to strengthen the critical healthcare network from village to block to the district to the regional and national level in the next 4-5 years.
  • Describing the initiative taken by the government under the new Mission, the Prime Minister said that there are 3 major aspects of the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission to address the different gaps in the health sector of the country.
  • The first is related to the creation of elaborate facilities for diagnostics and treatment. Under this, Health and Wellness Centres are being opened in villages and cities, where there will be facilities for early detection of diseases. Facilities like free medical consultation, free tests, free medicine will be available in these centres. For serious illness, 35 thousand new critical care-related beds are being added in 600 districts and referral facilities will be given in 125 districts.
  • The second aspect of the scheme, the Prime Minister said, is related to the testing network for the diagnosis of diseases. Under this mission, the necessary infrastructure will be developed for the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases. 730 districts of the country will get Integrated Public Health labs and 3 thousand blocks will get Block Public Health Units. Apart from that, 5 Regional National Centres for Disease Control, 20 Metropolitan units, and 15 BSL labs will further strengthen this network, said the Prime Minister.
  • The Third aspect, according to the Prime Minister, is the expansion of existing research institutions that study pandemics. Existing 80 Viral Diagnostic and research labs will be strengthened, 15 Biosafety level 15 labs will be operationalized, 4 new National institutes of Virology and a National Institute for One Health are being established. WHO regional research platform for South Asia will also strengthen this network. “This means, through PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission an entire ecosystem for services from treatment to critical research will be created in every corner of the country”, said the Prime Minister.
  • The Prime Minister highlighted the employment potential of these measures and said that PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, along with health, is also a medium of Atmanirbhar Bharat. It is a part of the effort to achieve holistic health care. Which means healthcare that is affordable and accessible to all.

 

Ayushman Bharat –Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)

  • Ayushman Bharat is a progression towards promotive, preventive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative aspects of Universal Healthcare through
    • access of Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) at the primary level and
    • provision of financial protection for accessing curative care at the secondary and tertiary levels through engagement with both public and private sector.
  • These centres will provide Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), covering both maternal and child health services and non-communicable diseases, including free essential drugs and diagnostic services.
  • The Health and Wellness Centres will play a critical role in creating awareness about PMJAY, screening for non-communicable diseases, follow-up of hospitalization cases among others.
  • Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) provide a cover of up to Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • PMJAY provide cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service.
  • PMJAY help to reduce catastrophic expenditure for hospitalizations, which impoverishes people and will help mitigate the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.
  • Two Components of AB-PMJAY
    1. Creation of 1,50,000 Health and Wellness Centres which will bring health care closer to the homes of the people.
    2. Providing health protection cover to poor and vulnerable families for secondary and tertiary care.

 

Challenges – Healthcare Facilities

  • Infrastructural Gaps still persists – Lack of adequate number of Doctors & nurses and beds for critical care, lack of diagnostic tools such as X-ray machines, CT-SCAN in rural areas.
  • Exclusion Error:Various issues with Socio-economic caste census such as a non-transparent method of data collection, and several contradictions in the data. Similarly, Census data are outdated, and population numbers have changed over time. Hence, more reliable estimates should be used.
  • Asymmetric Federalism: Several states have increased the coverage of the scheme via state schemes. This entails increased expenditure by states which choose to expand coverage, such as Kerala.
  • However, this may be particularly hard for cash-strapped states like Bihar who depend on Union government funding more than their own resources.
  • Ghost Beneficiaries: Unrelated ineligible beneficiaries are admitted based on forging a relationship with the head of the beneficiary family. The challenge that lies ahead for NHA is to strengthen artificial intelligence to pick up all such instances of fraud.
  • Cost:PM-JAY rates remained a mere guideline, which has either kept big hospitals at bay or have not been followed by states.
  • Connectivity:Ensuring seamless connectivity in regions of turmoil like Kashmir.
  • Empanelment:Empaneling hospitals in remote areas like the north-east and Leh remains a challenge.
  • Inequity in access: It is a serious issue, especially for the poor who suffer from serious ailments as their illness is not “listed” among the medical packages AB PM-JAY provides for.
  • Implementation:
  1. Even in the previous public health insurance schemes of some states, the private healthcare providers have been facing huge challenges.
  2. Particularly, improper procedure for empanelment, cost fixating mechanisms and inordinate delay in reimbursement to hospitals are some issues.
  3. Also, a proper mechanism for standardisation of services across the spectrum is absent and the current ‘National Accreditation Board for Hospitals’ (NABH) certification covers only some hospitals.

 

2.  Why India shouldn’t sign on to net zero

UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Environment | Mains – GS Paper III – Environment
Sub Theme: Net Zero | CBDR | UNFCCC | UPSC

What Does It Mean to Reach Net-Zero Emissions? (NZE)

  • Net-zero emissions will be achieved when all GHG emissions released by humans are counterbalanced by removing GHGs from the atmosphere in a process known as carbon removal.
  • First and foremost, human-caused emissions (such as those from fossil-fuelled vehicles and factories) should be reduced as close to zero as possible.
  • Any remaining GHGs should then be balanced with an equivalent amount of carbon removal, which can happen through things like restoring forests or using direct air capture and storage (DACS) technology. Reaching net-zero emissions is akin to achieving “climate neutrality.”

 

What are the arguments of the author regarding India not perusing NZE?

  • India is different from the “Top Emitters”
    • India is responsible for no more than 4.37% cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial era, even though it is home to more than a sixth of humanity.
    • India’s per capita emissions are less than half the world average, less than one-eighth of the U.S.’s, and have shown no dramatic increase like China’s post 2000.
  • India can not assume that the developed world and China would limit their emissions further in the future.
    • Because if such expectations were belied, it would endanger the future of its own population, subjecting it to unprecedented hardship.
    • The failure of the developed world to meet its pre-2020 obligations along with its refusal to acknowledge this provides little confidence for the future.
  • Developed countries have still not done anything on their commitments under CBDR:
    • Technology transfer and financial support, together with “negative emissions”, if the latter succeeds, can compensate for the loss of the past.
    • In the absence of such a claim, India’s considerable current efforts at mitigation are a wasted effort, only easing the way for the continued over-exploitation of the global commons by a few.
  • India needs to emit carbon:
    • Carbon emissions enable a country to come out of lower middle-income economy status and eradicate poverty, hunger and malnutrition for good.
    • India’s resource-strapped small industries sector, which provides employment and livelihoods to the majority of the population outside agriculture, needs expansion and modernisation.
    • The agriculture sector, the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions for India after energy, needs to double its productivity and farmers’ incomes and build resilience.
    • Infrastructure for climate resilience in general is critical to future adaptation to climate change.
    • All of these will require at least the limited fossil fuel resources made available through a fair share of the carbon budget.

 

3.  East Turkestan Islamic Movement – ETIM | Port Sudan – Red Sea | Horn of Africa

UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Current events of International Importance | Geography
Sub Theme: ETIM | Horn of Africa | Ports in Eastern Africa | UPSC

Context: China repeated to the Taliban leader China’s expectations that the Taliban will make a clean break with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement [ETIM] and other terrorist organisations and take effective measures to resolutely crack down on them. The ETIM, which China has blamed for several attacks in its western Xinjiang region, “not only poses a real threat to China’s national security and territorial integrity, but also jeopardises the domestic stability and long-term stability in Afghanistan. The Chinese Foreign Minister identified “quadruple challenges”, including “the humanitarian crisis, economic chaos, terrorist threats and governance difficulties”, and added China “always respects Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and supports the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny and choose the development path”.

 

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is an extremist group of native Uyghurs (Turkish speaking Muslim minority in Xinjiang) from China who wish to establish a separate country called ‘East Turkistan’. ETIM is an Uyghur Islamic extremist organization founded in Western China.

 

HORN OF AFRICA

The Horn of Africa region occupies Africa’s easternmost peninsula, which extends into the Guardafui Channel, Somali Sea, and the Gulf of Aden.

The largest Ports in East Africa

  1. Port of Djibouti:
  2. Egypt: Port of Alexandria – Suez Canal
  3. Kenya: Port of Mombasa
  4. Port of Madagascar:
  5. Mozambique: Ports of Beira Nacala and Maputo
  6. Port of Sudan:
  7. Tanzania: Port of Dar es-Salaam

 

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