Prelims Primer

 

  1. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the restructuring of existing National Health Agency as “National Health Authority” for better implementation of Pradhan Mantri – Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY). With this approval, the existing society “National Health Agency” has been dissolved and will be replaced by National Health Authority as an attached office to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The existing multi-tier decision making structure has been replaced with the Governing Board chaired by the Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India which will enable the decision making at a faster pace, required for smooth implementation of the scheme. The composition of the Governing Board is broad based with due representations from the Government, domain experts, etc. Besides, the States shall also be represented in the Governing Board on rotational basis. It is envisaged that the National Health Authority shall have full accountability, authority and mandate to implement PM-JAY through an efficient, effective and transparent decision-making process.
  2. Fair and Remunerative Price – The Fair and Remunerative Pricing is used in sugarcane industry to replace the MSP. This is based on the Rangarajan Commitee report of reorganising the sugarcane industry. The FRP is determined on the basis of recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and after consultation with State Governments and other stake-holders.
  3. As per the Interim Budget 2019-20 the government has approved the creation of the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan, a pension scheme for informal workers. Under this scheme, subscribers will receive an assured monthly pension of Rs. 3,000 per month from the age of 60 onwards. Towards this, they will have to contribute Rs.55 a month (if they join at the age of 18 years), or Rs. 100 a month (if they join at the age of 29 years). The government will match these contributions. In his Budget speech, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said half of India’s GDP comes from the work done by 42 crore workers in the unorganised sector, such as street vendors, rickshaw pullers, construction workers, rag pickers, agricultural workers, beedi workers, those engaged in the handloom and leather industries, and domestic workers. The Shram Yogi Mandhan scheme is aimed at achieving that, and therefore includes all informal sector workers with an income of less than Rs. 15,000 per month. According to the government, this works out to 10 crore people. The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) was announced last year (in 2018) to benefit more than three crore poor senior citizens, disabled people, and widows. The NSAP had originally been allocated Rs. 9,975 crore in the 2018-19 Budget, which was reduced to Rs. 9,200 crore in the Interim Budget 2019-20.
  4. The Reserve Bank of India has 18 board members including the governor and the four deputy governors. There are 11 members, who are experts in their field, nominated by the government, besides two government officials — the Secretary of Economic Affairs and Secretary of Financial Services. The RBI board is not involved in monetary policy making or any particular policy-related issues, but provides a broader vision to the central bank.
  5. A six-member committee headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan has been formed to review the economic capital framework of RBI.
  6. A 19-foot-high statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism was unveiled in Odisha. Historians claim that Guru Padmasambhava, also known as second Buddha, was born and brought up in Odisha before he left for Tibet.
  7. Kosi Parikrama Marg, will be launched to facilitate the movement of pilgrims around Ayodhya.
  8. The new roster system for reservation in universities has severely cut down faculty positions for SC/ST and OBC candidates. The roster system provides that number of vacancies are considered department- or wing-wise in a college or university and not the total number of posts available for recruitment in any institution. This limits the seats available for recruitment in each department or wing under reserved categories.
  9. Income Tax assessees and sitting or former Members of Parliament or State legislatures are among those who have been excluded from the scope of the Centre’s scheme of income support for farmers, which was announced in the Union budget 2019.
  10. In late 2018, the government decided to set up three new agencies — the Defence Cyber Agency, the Defence Space Agency and the Special Operations Division — in order to address the new age challenges to national security.
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