Malnutrition among Pre-School Children | PIB Summary

Malnutrition | Introduction

Malnutrition among Pre-School Children is a serious problem. As per the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) third repeat survey report, 2012 for ten Indian States, 0.5% of children aged 1-5 years suffer from Vitamin-A deficiency manifested as Conjunctival Xerosis; and as per National Family Health Survey- 4 (2015-16) report, 58.4% children below five years suffer from anaemia.

Malnutrition | Causes

The main reasons for these micronutrient deficiencies are poor dietary intake, repeated infections, poor complementary feeding practices, and lack of adequate sanitation and hygiene practices.

Steps taken by the Government

  1. Promotion of appropriate infant and young child feeding practices that include early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months of age through ASHA worker and health care provider at health facilities. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently launched “MAA” programme to provide impetus on capacity building of the health workers on lactation management at both community and facility levels and 360 degree IEC campaign to create awareness regarding breastfeeding.
  2. Management of malnutrition and common neonatal and childhood illnesses at community and facility level by training service providers in IMNCI (Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses) training.
  3. Treatment of sick children with severe acute malnutrition at special units called the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs), set up at public health facilities. Presently 965 such centres are functional in 26 States and UTs.
  4. Vitamin A supplementation for children aged 6 months to 5 years. 
  5. Village Health and Nutrition Days and Mother and Child Protection Card are the joint initiative of the Ministries of Health & Family welfare and the Ministry of Woman and Child for addressing the nutrition concerns in children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. Monthly Village Health and Nutrition Days (VHND) are monthly days held at village level in Anganwadi centre to increase the awareness and bring about desired changes in the dietary practices including the promotion of breastfeeding.
  6. ‘National Iron Plus Initiative’ has been launched as an effective strategy for iron folic acid supplementation and treatment of anaemia in children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, in programme mode through life cycle approach.
  7. Promotion for intake of iodised of salt under National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme
  8. Under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) and Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK), systematic efforts are undertaken to detect nutrition deficiency among children and adolescents respectively.
  9. Supplementary Nutrition in form of hot-cooked meals and take-home ration provided to children aged 6 months to 6 years under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, Growth monitoring of children aged 0-5 years on a monthly basis at Anganwadi Centres
  10. Mid-day meal for all students under the Government and Government aided schools.

Policy For Domestic Workers | PIB Summary

A draft National Policy for Domestic workers is under consideration of the Government.

Salient features

  • Inclusion of Domestic Workers in the existing legislations
  • Domestic workers will have the right to register as workers with the State Labour Department. Such registration will facilitate their access to rights & benefits accruing to them as workers
  • Right to form their own associations, trade unions.
  • Right to have minimum wages, access to social security, protection from abuse, harassment, violence.
  • Right to enhance their professional skills.
  • Protection of Domestic Workers from abuse and exploitation who are recruited to work abroad.
  • Domestic Workers to have access to courts, tribunals, etc.
  • Establishment of a mechanism for regulation of placement agencies.

Background

  • In order to provide social security benefits to the workers in the unorganised sector including domestic workers, the Government has enacted the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008.
  • The 2008 Act stipulates formulation of suitable welfare schemes for unorganised workers on matters relating to:
  1. life and disability cover,
  2. health and maternity benefits,
  3. old age protection and
  4. any other benefit as may be determined by the Central Government through the National Social Security Board.

Other social sector schemes for unorganised workers

  1. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (Ministry of Rural Development)
  2. National Family Benefit Scheme (Ministry of Rural Development)
  3. Janani Suraksha Yojana (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)
  4. Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (Ministry of Textiles)
  5. Handicraft Artisans’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (Ministry of Textiles)
  6. Pension to Master Craft Persons (Ministry of Textiles)
  7. National Scheme for Welfare of Fishermen and Training and Extension (Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries)
  8. Aam Admi Bima Yojana (Department of Financial Services)
  9. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare).

E-Cinepramaan | PIB Summary

E-Cinepramaan | VERY IMPORTANT

Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that E-Cinepramaan – the Online Film Certification System of CBFC would facilitate the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Ease of Doing Business and Digital India. The complete automation of the Film Certification Process would enable Good Governance making the entire process transparent and efficient.

E-Cinepramaan | Objectives

The objective is to eliminate the need for human interface to the extent possible. The new online certification system would be an important step in making the CBFC Office paper less and would enable effective monitoring & real time progress tracking for both CBFC Officials and the applicant (Producers). More online initiatives would be introduced in the Ministry as part of the roadmap for transparent Governance. The Minister stated this at the launch function of the Online Film Certification System of CBFC here today.

E-Cinepramaan | Salient features

  • In the e-cinepramaan, the status of each application would be visible online in the dashboard of the producer/concerned CBFC official.
  • In case of short films/promos/trailers less than 10 minutes, even for Examination purposes also, the producer need not visit the Office/Theatre. They can merely submit their creations online.
  • For films longer than 10 minutes, the applicant will only have to show the film at the Examining theatre and will not have to visit the CBFC Offices at all except to collect their certificates.
  • The producer/applicant would be informed by SMS/e-mail of the status of their application and any action needed, beginning from the receipt of application to the certificate collection.
  • The transparency in the system and elimination of middle men would mitigate chances of any corruption and would also avoid allegations of jumping the queue or rigging up of Examination committees.
  • The implementation of QR code on the certificates would eliminate chances of fraudulent certificates.
  • The system envisages a robust MIS system for performance tracking and efficient reporting.
  • The system has inbuilt alerts depending on the pendency of the application to ensure that time limits prescribed by the Rules are not violated.
  • Simultaneously, a new CBFC Website has also been developed bringing in new user friendly features and important information at the click of a button.

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana | PIB Summary

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana, a ‘Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category’ will be launched in District Nellore, Andhra Pradesh on 1st April, 2017.

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana | Highlights

  • Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment said that the Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens will be distributed in Camp mode and the Scheme will be implemented through the sole implementing agency, ‘Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)’, (a PSU under M/o SJ&E), which will undertake one-year free maintenance of the aids & assisted living devices.
  • The devices will help the Senior Citizens to overcome their age related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family. The ambitious Scheme, first of its kind in the country is expected to benefit 5,20,000 Senior Citizens over a period of the 3 years, he added.

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana | Background

  • The proposal for formulation of a Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-Living Devices for Senior Citizens belonging to BPL Category was announced in the Budget 2015-16. Pursuant to this, the “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana” has been formulated.
  • The Scheme aims at providing Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from any of the age related disability/infirmity viz. Low vision, Hearing impairment, Loss of teeth and Locomotor disability, with such assisted-living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions, overcoming the disability/infirmity manifested.
  • The assistive devices shall be of high quality and conforming to the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards, wherever applicable.
  • This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government. The expenditure for implementation of the scheme will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund”.
  • Under the Scheme, the following Aids and Assisted-Living Devices will be provided to eligible elderly beneficiary senior citizens, depending upon their physical impairment: –
  1. Walking sticks
  2. Elbow crutches
  3. Walkers / Crutches
  4. Tripods / Quadpods
  5. Hearing Aids
  6. Wheelchair
  7. Artificial Dentures
  8. Spectacles

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana | Salient features

  • Free of cost distribution of the devices, commensurate with the extent of disability/infirmity that is manifested among the eligible senior citizens.
  • In case of multiple disabilities/infirmities manifested in the same person, the assistive devices will be given in respect of each disability/impairment.
  • The devices will help the Senior Citizens to overcome their age related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family.
  • The Scheme will be implemented through the sole implementing agency, ‘Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)’, (a PSU under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment)
  • ALIMCO will undertake one year free maintenance of the aids & assisted living devices.
  • Beneficiaries in each district will be identified by the State Governments/UT Administrations through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector.
  • As far as possible, 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women.
  • The State Government/UT Administration/District Level Committee can also utilize the data of BPL beneficiaries receiving Old Age Pension under the NSAP or any other Scheme of the State/UT for identification of senior citizens belonging to BPL category.
  • The devices will be distributed in Camp mode.
  • The expected financial outlay over the next three years (i.e. upto 2019-20) is Rs. 483.6 Crores.

Fund of Fund For Start-Ups | PIB Summary

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals with regard to the Fund of Funds of Start-ups (FFS) which was established in June, last year with a corpus of Rs. 1,000 crores.

Fund of Fund For Start-Ups | Details

  1. Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs) supported by FFS shall invest at least twice the amount of contribution received from FFS in Start-ups qualifying as per the Gazette Notification G.S.R.180 (E) dt. 17/02/2016. Further, if the amount committed for a Start-up in whole has not been released before a Start-up ceases to be so, the balance funding can continue thereafter.
  2. It was also decided that operating expenses for carrying out due diligence, legal and technical appraisal, convening meeting of Venture Capital Investment Committee, etc. would be met out of the FFS to the extent of 0.50% of the commitments made to AIFs and outstanding. This will be debited to the fund at the beginning of each half year; i.e. April 1 and October 1.

Fund of Fund For Start-Ups | Background

  • The Union Cabinet in its meeting had approved the proposal testablish a Fund of Funds for Start-ups (FFS) with a total corpus of Rs.10000 crores, with contribution spread over the 14th & 15th Finance Commission cycles based on progress of implementation and availability of funds.
  • It was decided that the FFS shall contribute to the corpus of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) for investing in equity and equity linked instruments of various start-ups at early stage, seed stage and growth stages.
  • The FFS is being managed and operated by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).  FFS contributes to SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) that may go up to a maximum of 35% of the corpus of the AIF concerned.
  • The Cabinet had decided that the corpus of Fund of Funds along with counterpart funds raised by the AIFs in which FFS takes equity would be invested entirely in Start-ups.
  • It has been pointed out to the Department during its interactions with various stakeholders that investors in the AIFs would prefer that the portfolio of AIFs is adequately diversified to manage the investment risks appropriately and if the entire pool of funds of the AIF is invested in Start-ups, it poses unacceptable risks to the investors of such AIFs.
  • The other issues raised by stakeholders were that the process of funding of Start-ups by AIFs is long drawn which starts from pitching by a Start-up, commitment by the AIF and then release of funds in tranches. Thus it is possible that before release of the final instalment the turnover of the Start-up crosses Rs. 25 crores but it still needs funds to meet its growth requirements. Besides, Start-ups need access to funds through various stages of their life cycle, viz. early stage, seed stage and growth stage.
  • It was also pointed out to the Department by SIDBI that the present provisions don’t provide for SIDBI to get compensated for activities done post sanction to AIFs.

Promotion of AYUSH Mission | PIB Summary

The Government of India has approved and notified Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) on 29th September 2014.

National AYUSH Mission

  1. The scheme envisages better access to AYUSH services;
  2. Strengthening of AYUSH educational institutions,
  3. Facilitate the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU &H) drugs, and
  4. Sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials by promotion of medicinal plants in the States/UTs during 12th Plan.
  5. Under NAM, the Central Government provides financial assistance to the States/UTs for encouraging Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy Centers for the health care of the people of the country as per the State Annual Action Plan (SAAP).

Highlights of National AYUSH Mission (NAM)

The National AYUSH Mission (NAM) inter-alia makes provision for the following: –

  1. Co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centers (PHCs), Community Health Centers (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs).
  2. Up gradation of exclusive State Government AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries.
  3. Setting up of up to 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital.
  4. Upgradation of State Government Educational Institutions.
  5. Setting up of new State Government AYUSH Educational Institutions in the State where it is not available.
  6. Strengthening of State Government/ Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) Pharmacies and Drug Testing Laboratories (DTL).
  7. Cultivation and Promotion of Medicinal Plants.

Other initiatives for the promotion of AYUSH treatment

  • Under the Central Sector Scheme for Promotion of Information, Education and Communication (IEC), the Ministry takes up initiatives for propagation and promotion of AYUSH systems of medicines by organizing Arogya fairs/melas, conferences, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, symposium and also undertakes publicity through electronic multimedia/print media campaign for awareness amongst the citizens.
  • Ministry of AYUSH celebrated ‘National Ayurveda Day’ on the day of Dhanvantari Jayanti (Dhanteras). The theme for year 2016-17 i.e. the first National Ayurveda Day was ‘Ayurveda for Prevention & Control of Diabetes’ which was celebrated on 28th October 2016. Mission Madhumeh was launched on this occasion and Ministry also released a protocol for Prevention & Control of Diabetes through Ayurveda.
  • AYUSH intervention in National Program for Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease & Stroke (NPCDCS) program is being implemented in one District each in six States viz. Bhilwara (Rajasthan), Surendranagar (Gujarat), Gaya (Bihar), Lahimpur Khiri (Uttar Pradesh), Krishna (Andhra Pradesh) and Darjeeling (West Bengal).

Employees’ Enrolment Campaign | PIB Summary

An Employees Enrolment Campaign has been launched by Employees Provident Fund Organisation during the period 01.01.2017 to 31.03.2017, in order to extend social security benefits to all the eligible workers in the country.

Employees Enrolment Campaign | Highlights

During the Employees Enrolment Campaign, various financial incentives are being offered to establishments to enroll their workers.

As an incentive, the following shall apply to the declarations made under the campaign: – 

  1. The employee’s share of contribution if declared by the employer not to have been deducted shall not be required to be paid.
  2. The damages to be paid by the employer in respect of the employees for whom declaration has been made under this campaign shall be at the rate of Rupee 1(one) per annum.
  3. No administrative charges shall be collected from the employer in respect of the contribution made under the declaration.

Employees Enrolment Campaign | Conditions to obtain financial incentives

  • An employer, whether already covered or yet to be covered, can enroll employees who remained un-enrolled for any reason between 01.04.2009 and 31.12.2016 by making a declaration of such employees during the campaign period.
  • Such declaration shall be valid only in respect of employees who are alive as on 1st January, 2017 and no proceedings under section 7A of the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions (EPF & MP) Act, 1952 or under paragraph 26B of the Employees’ Provident Funds (EPF) Scheme, 1952 or under paragraph 8 of the Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 have been initiated against their establishment or employer, as the case may be, to determine the eligibility for membership of such employees.
  • For the declaration made under this campaign, the employer shall be responsible to remit the employer’s contribution, interest under section 7Q of the Act and damages.

Schemes for Minority Women | PIB Summary

Apart from other schemes which are available to all, including women, Ministry of Minority Affairs implements three specific schemes for women as below:-

Highlights of the schemes

  1. NAI ROSHNI – It is aimed at leadership development of Minority Women specially for development of women belonging to minority communities with an aim to empower and instil confidence in women by providing knowledge, tool and techniques for interacting with Government system and others at all levels. The scheme is implemented through selected Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) all over the country.
  2. Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship for Meritorious Girls belonging to minorities implemented through Maulana Azad Education Foundation.
  3. Mahila Samridhi Yojana is implemented through National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) wherein skill development training is imparted to group of women in women friendly trades. Training period is of maximum six months and raw material cost of upto Rs 1,500/- per trainee and stipend @ Rs.1000/- per trainee is provided. During the period of training, the women formed into Self Help Group, followed by infusion of micro-credit maximum upto Rs.1.00 lacs per member for the purpose of using the skill developed during the training, for income generation activities.

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Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of Boys and Girls | PIB Summary

As per Unified-District Information System For Education (UDISE) 2015-16, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of boys and girls at secondary level is 79.16 % and 80.97% respectively and GER of boys and girls at Senior Secondary level is 55.95% and 56.41% respectively.

GER | Analysis

  • There is no massive gap in the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of boys and girls at secondary and senior secondary level in the country.
  • In case of higher education, GER of girls is marginally lower than that of boys at all India level and also in respect of most of the States.
  • Lower GER of girls in higher education as compared to that of boys could be attributed to factors such as social, cultural and religious beliefs, attitudes and practices, poverty and poor learning environment.

GER | Government initiatives

  • Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), universalisation of secondary education envisages enhancing the enrolment ratio by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of every habitation, improving quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removal of gender, socio-economic and disability barriers.
  • The scheme provides for classrooms, science laboratory, library, computer room, art/craft/culture room, toilets, drinking water facilities etc. in new/upgradation and existing secondary schools.
  • Further, interventions like survey and identification of out of school children, awareness programmes, remedial teaching for learning enhancement, self-defence training for girls, provision of girls’ toilets, introduction of vocational education at Secondary stage, etc. have also been supported under RMSA to improve access to school education.
  • In order to encourage girls’ students for pursuing higher education, the Government is implementing scholarship/fellowship programmes for them to supplement the cost of education. For increasing participation of girls in higher education ‘Construction of Women’s hostels for colleges’ scheme is also being implemented.

Nirbhaya Fund | PIB Summary

Nirbhaya Fund | Background

  • The Ministry of Finance, Government of India had set up a dedicated fund called Nirbhaya Fund in 2013, for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country. It is a non-lapsable corpus fund. 
  • Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal Ministry to appraise schemes under Nirbhaya Fund and also to review and monitor the progress of sanctioned Schemes in conjunction with the line Ministries/Departments.

Nirbhaya Fund | Schemes of Ministry of Women and Child Development

Keeping in mind the need to have schematic interventions and proper mechanism for handholding of women in distress, 3 schemes i.e. ‘ One Stop Centre’, ‘Universalisation of Women Helpline’ and ‘Mahila Police Volunteer’ were initiated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development from the Nirbhaya Fund as follows: 

Sakhi

  1. Popularly known as Sakhi Centres, the One Stop Centre Scheme is being implemented across the country since 1st April 2015. It aims at establishing Centres to facilitate women affected by violence. It provides First aid, Medical aid, Police assistance, Legal aid and counselling support. 186 OSCs are approved to be set up in the country. So far, 79 One Stop Centres have become operational. All the 186 centres are expected to be operational by July, 2017.
  2. Helpline specifically for women with a common number across the country will link the One Stop Centres being established by the Ministry of Women & Child Development. The Department of Telecommunication has allocated the number 181 to all States/UTs for Women Helpline. So far, Women Helplines are already operational in 18 States/UTs although funds have been released by Govt. of India to 33 States/UTs. 
  3. Mahila Police Volunteers (MPVs) will act as a link between police and community and help women in distress. Haryana has become the first state to start the Mahila Police Volunteer scheme. It was launched at Karnal on 14th December, 2016 for the districts of Karnal and Mahendragarh in Haryana. Other States are expected to implement the scheme soon. 

Nirbhaya Fund | Schemes of other Ministries/Departments
Ministry of Home Affairs

  1. Emergency Response Support System – For creation of an Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) with a total cost of Rs.321.69 crores which aims to integrate all emergency numbers to 112 with state of art technology. ERSS envisages an integrated computer aided emergency response platform to respond to distress calls and ensure speedy assistance to the distressed persons. 
  2. Central Victim Compensation Fund – A Corpus Fund of Rs.200 crores to be disbursed to States/UT for Central Victim Compensation Scheme (CVCF) framed under section 357A CrPC. This will support States/UTs in providing fund towards compensation to the victim or her dependents who have suffered loss or injury as a result of the crimes (including survivors of rape and acid attack). 

Ministry of Railways

  • Integrated Emergency Response Management System – This project of Railways at a cost of Rs.500 crores has been approved to provide round the clock security to women passengers in 983 Railway Stations by strengthening of Security Control Rooms of Railways with 182 Security Helpline, Medical Facilities, RPF and police, installation of CCTV cameras, etc. 

Abhaya Project Proposal (Andhra Pradesh)

This proposal is for ensuring the safety of Women and Girl child during the transport (auto rickshaw) has been proposed by Andhra Pradesh with a cost of Rs. 138.49 Crores. 
CHIRALI

Friends Forever (Rajasthan) is a scheme to constitute Community Action Groups in 7 districts of Rajasthan covering a total of 2071 Gram Panchayats for a period of three years i.e from 2016-17 to 2018-19 with an objective to create an enabling environment that would support girls and women to move freely and make use of choices, spaces and opportunities for their overall wellbeing. The cost of the Project is Rs. 10.20 Crores.