25th October – Minding the gaps in India’s digital data infrastructure

Much of the data quality discussions in the past have erupted when politically sensitive results around topics such as GDP growth rate or poverty rates have been released and partisan bickering allows for little room to think about data collection systems.

How can we improve data collection?

If we are to move towards developing a more robust data infrastructure, subscribing to the following core principles may be a good start.

  1. Set realistic goals – First, set realistic goals and use creative strategies. With a variety of small area estimation techniques available for pooling data from diverse sources to obtain robust estimates at district level, it may make sense for us to think of alternatives and to make sure that we obtain required local government directory identifiers in each aspect of government data, including Census, sample registration system, and Ayushman Bharat payment systems to ensure that these data can be pooled and leveraged.
  2. Ensuring quality – Second, adapt to changing institutional and technological environment for data collection. Some of the initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation for developing training programmes for investigators offer a welcome improvement but stop far short of the radical restructuring of data collection oversight. Where interviewers make a mistake, they must be retrained. Concurrent monitoring using technologically-enabled procedures such as random voice recording of interviews, judicious back checks, and evaluation of agency and interviewer performance on parameters such as skipping sections, inconsistent data and consistent misreporting may be needed to ensure quality.
  3. Need for exclusive units – Third, establish research units exclusively focused on data collection and research design. An innovative research institute on the lines of NSS could be undertaken as an associated unit of the Indian Statistical Institute.

Way forward –

While research on data collection methods has stagnated, research methodologies have changed phenomenally. Telephone surveys via random digit dialling or selection of respondents using voter lists are increasingly emerging as low-cost ways of collecting data.

Conclusion –

Unless we pay systematic attention to the data infrastructure, we are likely to have the national discourse hijacked by poor quality data as has happened in the past with a measurement of poverty or inconsistent data on GDP.

SourceThe Hindu

QUESTIONData collection by government agencies to formulate social welfare schemes have come into criticism from many quarters questioning the authenticity of the data. How can we ensure accurate data collection to formulate right policies at the various levels of government?

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) | PIB

Introduction –
As per latest data, IMR has reduced by 58% in India during the period of 1990-2015 which is more than to Global decline of 49% during the same period. The full immunization coverage also improved from 43.5% in 2005 to 62.0% in 2015 and mortality due to Tuberculosis has reduced from 76 per 1,00,000 in 1990 to 32 per 1,00,000 in 2015.
Steps taken to combat IMR and increasing vaccine coverage under National Health Mission –

  • Promotion of Institutional deliveries through cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) which entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free ante-natal check-ups, delivery including Caesarean section, post-natal care and treatment of sick infants till one year of age.
  • Strengthening of delivery points for providing comprehensive and quality Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) Services.
  • Newborn Stabilization Units (NBSU) and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) units for care of sick and small babies.
  • Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding for first six months and appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices are promoted in convergence with Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is being supported to provide vaccination to children against many life threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Measles.
  • Name based tracking of mothers and children till two years of age (Mother and Child Tracking System) is done to ensure complete antenatal, intranatal, postnatal care and complete immunization as per schedule.
  • Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) for health screening, early detection of birth defects, diseases, deficiencies, development delays including disability and early intervention services has been Operationalized to provide comprehensive care to all the children in the age group of 0-18 years in the community.
  • Iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation is being done for the prevention of anaemia among the vulnerable age groups, home visits by ASHAs to promote exclusive breast feeding and promote use of ORS and Zinc for management of diarrhoea in children.
  • Capacity building of health care providers – Various trainings are being conducted under National Health Mission (NHM) to build and upgrade the skills of health care providers in basic and comprehensive obstetric care of mother during pregnancy, delivery and essential newborn care.
  • Low performing districts have been identified as High Priority Districts (HPDs) which entitles them to receive high per capita funding, relaxed norms, enhanced monitoring and focused supportive supervisions and encouragement to adopt innovative approaches to address their peculiar health challenges.

For more information keep visiting Raj Malhotra IAS Academy Chandigarh

Mission Parivar Vikas

Mission Parivar Vikas is a new family planning initiative launched on World Population Day.

Mission Parivar Vikas  | Details

  • Mission ParivarVikas will focus on 146 high fertility districts in 7 states with high TFR. Under this, specific targeted initiatives shall be taken for population stabilisation through better services delivery.
  • Mission ParivarVikas is a new initiative conceived by the Ministry with a strategic focus on improving access through provision of services, promotional schemes, commodity security, capacity building, enabling environment and intensive monitoring.
  • The Governmenthas enhanced the basket of contraceptive choices to meet the changing needs of people and have taken steps to ensure quality assured services and commodities are delivered to the last-mile consumers in both rural and urban areas.
  • Also launched was a new injectable in the public health system under the “Antara” program and a new software – Family Planning Logistics Management Information System (FP-LMIS) – designed to provide robust information on the demand and distribution of contraceptives to health facilities and ASHAs to strengthen supply chain management. 
  • The Health Minister also launched a new consumer friendly website on family planning and a 52-week radio show for couples to discuss issues related to marriage and family planning, which will be aired across the country.
  • The Health Minister further highlighted the life cycle approach of the Ministry and stated that a continuum of care approach has been adopted by the Ministry with the articulation of ‘Strategic approach to Reproductive Maternal, New-born, Child and Adolescent health (RMNCH+A), bringing focus on all the life stages.

Mission Parivar Vikas  | Conclusion

The population dynamics have a significant influence on sustainable development. The changes in population growth rates and age structures are closely linked to national and global developmental challenges and their solutions. The issue of population stabilization is so gigantic in its proportion that the government alone cannot address the issue and thus the collective involvement of NGOs, private sector and corporate sector shall play a pivotal role.

For more information keep visiting Raj Malhotra IAS Academy

SOP on Rehabilitation of Children

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has developed a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for rehabilitation of children in conflict with law under the Juvenile Justice System.

About | SOP on Rehabilitation of Children

  • The said SOP aims to emphasise the cause of rehabilitation and social reintegration by providing for types of institutional care, after care services, foster care and sponsorship to such children.
  • The SOP is based on the principles of presumptive innocence and best interest of the child. 

Objectives |SOP on Rehabilitation of Children

  • The objective of the SOP is to reduce incarceration while protecting children from violence, abuse and exploitation.
  • The SOP promotes rehabilitation that involves families and communities as a safer, more appropriate and effective approach than punitive measures.
  • The SOP has been designed to be a useful guide for stakeholders while dealing with children in conflict with law such as functionaries of child care institutions, Juvenile Justice Boards/ Children’s Courts, National and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, State/UT Governments and Police etc.

Stakeholders |SOP on Rehabilitation of Children 

  • The Ministry adopted a consultative process in developing the SOP by engaging with experts and advocates on issues of child rights and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
  • It was also placed on the website of the Ministry of WCD for seeking comments from various stakeholders.    

Significance |SOP on Rehabilitation of Children

The SOP will help to provide possibilities and opportunities to children in conflict with law to reintegrate in the society.

For more information keep visiting Raj Malhotra IAS Academy

e-SOT And e-PRAN Cards | PIB Summary

With a view to digitally empower the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers and improve the quality of service, the facility of online viewing of the statement of transaction – e-SOT and also the e-PRAN card have been launched.

More than 45 lacs APY subscribers are likely to be benefitted. The APY subscribers can visit the website: www.npscra.nsdl.co.in or www.npstrust.org.in under the Atal Pension Yojana Section to avail these value added facilities.

About E-SOT and E-PRAN Card facility

  • By providing the APY/PRAN Acct details and Savings Bank Account number details, the APY subscriber can view one’s APY Account Statement. Even for the APY subscriber who does not have his APY PRAN number readily available can also avail these facilities by providing one’s Date of Birth and Savings Bank Account number details.
  • This online tool enables the Subscribers to view his complete details of APY account like transaction details, pension amount, pension commencement date, nominee name, associated bank name etc. Even though the feature is a self-servicing tool but the service providers can also access the feature on behalf of their customer to improve the quality of customer service.
  • PY Subscribers can print their e PRAN card and get it laminated for their future reference if needed. In case of any changes in the demographic details in the APY account, the subscribers can re-print their e-PRAN which shows the updated subscriber records.

About Atal Pension Yojana

The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) was launched by the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on 09th May, 2015 and became operational from 1st June, 2015.

  • APY is available for all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years. Under the APY, the subscribers would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5000 per month from the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which depends on the age of the subscriber at the time of joining the APY.
  • The Same amount of pension is paid to the spouse in case of subscriber’s demise. After the demise of both i.e. Subscriber & Spouse, the nominee would be paid with the pension corpus.
  • There is option for Spouse to continue to contribute for balance period on premature death of subscriber before 60 years, so as to avail pension by Spouse.
  • There are tax benefits at entry, accumulation and pension payment phases. If the actual returns on the pension contributions during the accumulation phase are higher than the assumed returns for the minimum guaranteed pension, such excess returns are passed on to the subscriber, resulting in enhanced scheme benefits.

Cab Safety Measures | PIB Summary

Cab Safety Measures, recommended by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, concerning safety of women commuters availing of cab services have been included in the new Taxi Policy Guidelines. These measures have been recommended by the WCD Minister, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping (MoRTH). 

Cab Safety Measures | Background

  • The recommendations come in the background of numerous cases of sexual harassment of women in cabs being reported to Smt. Maneka Gandhi on social media after women took to Twitter and Facebook to flag their ordeal. 
  • Following this, the WCD Minister held a meeting with radio cab service providers to find a solution to the grave problem. Based on this, the WCD Minister wrote to Sh. Nitin Gadkari , Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping to incorporate the necessary safety measures in the regulatory guidelines being prepared by MoRTH. 

Cab Safety Measures | Recommendations of WCD Ministry

  • The taxis should be mandatorily fitted with GPS panic devices. 
  • For the safety of women and child passengers, the central locking system in the taxis should not be allowed.
  • The driver’s identification along with the photo and registration number of the vehicle should also be prominently displayed in the taxi.
  • Violation of the stipulated rules by the taxi operators/drivers should be strictly dealt in accordance with law.
  • Sharing of seat should be subject to willingness of passengers.

Cab Safety Measures | Other measures

Women commuters have been expressing their concern via social media to Smt Maneka Gandhi regarding safety in taxis. The WCD Minister has launched a hashtag, #HelpMeWCD, where any woman or child facing harassment/ violence can directly report their cases by tweeting.

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.