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Prelim Bits 26-04-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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April 26, 2023

PM Cares fund and irregularities

PM CARES Fund is not subjected to any audit nor covered under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

  • PM CARES Fund is not subjected to any audit despite 60% of its funds coming from public sector undertakings (PSUs).
  • PM CARES Fund is a trust and does not receive any budgetary support from the government.
  • But government-owned/controlled Navratna and Mini Ratna PSUs are the principle donors.

PM CARES Fund

  • The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund).
  • It was created as a dedicated fund in March 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
  • It is used for combating, containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar emergency or distress situations in the future.
  • The fund is administered on an honorary basis by a Joint Secretary (Administration) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as Secretary to the fund.
  • Donations to the fund would qualify for 100% exemption under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • It will also qualify to be counted as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure under the Companies Act, 2013
  • It has also got exemption under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

References

  1. ABOUT │ PM CARES fund
  2. The Hindu │ Irregularities in PM CARES fund

Goldman Environmental Prize   

Amazon Indigenous woman, Alessandra Korap wins Goldman environment prize.

  • The Goldman Environmental Prize recognizes grassroots environmental heroes from roughly the world’s 6 inhabited continental regions:
  1. Africa
  2. Asia
  3. Europe
  4. Islands & Island Nations
  5. North America
  6. South & Central America
  • The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk.
  • The recipients of the Goldman Environmental Prize are announced annually in a live ceremony timed to coincide with Earth Day.
  • The prize is also called the Green Nobel.

References

  1. ABOUT │ Goldman Environmental Prize
  2. The Hindu │ Goldman Environmental Prize

State of world's Children Report 2023

UNICEF India released the agency’s global flagship report The State of the World’s Children 2023: For Every Child, Vaccination.

The State of the World’s Children

  • The State of the World’s Children first went into print in 1980, 10% of the children born that year died from preventable causes.
  • Each State of the World's Children (SOWC) examines a key issue affecting children.
  • These include, children with disabilities, conflict and war, child labor, urbanization, early childhood development, and much more, making it the most comprehensive analysis of global trends that impact children.

Findings of the report

  • The report warns of the growing threat of vaccine hesitancy due to factors such as access to misleading information and declining trust in vaccine efficacy.
  • The decline in vaccine confidence globally comes amid the largest sustained backslide in childhood immunization in 30 years, fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

India’s achievement

  • In the last year, India was able to arrest backslide and bring down the number of zero-dose (unreached or missed out) children to 2.7 million.
  • This represents a smaller proportion of India’s under-5 child population given its size and the world’s largest birth cohort.

Reasons for the achievement

  • Achievement of India can be attributed to sustained evidence-based catch-up campaigns initiated by the government, including the:
    • Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI).
    • Continued provision of comprehensive primary health care services.
    • A strong routine immunization programme.
    • Dedicated health workers.

Reference

  1. The Hindu │ State of the World's Children report 2023

National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2019-20)

The National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2019-20) was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Salient features

  • The share of out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) in total health expenditure has declined from 62.6% in 2014-15 to 47.1% in 2019-20.
  • The continuous decline in the OOPE show progress towards ensuring financial protection and Universal Health Coverage for citizens.
  • The government health expenditure’s share in the country’s total GDP increased from 1.13% (2014-15) to 1.35% (2019-20).
  • Share of Government Health Expenditure in Total Health Expenditure increases from 29% (2014-15) to 41.4% (2019-20).
  • General Government Expenditure (GGE), the share of health sector spending has steadily increased from 3.94% to 5.02% between 2014-15 and 2019-20.
  • The share of Social Security Expenditure on health has increased from 5.7% in 2014-15 to 9.3% in 2019-20.

Social Security Expenditure includes government-funded health insurance, medical reimbursement to government employees, and social health insurance programs.

References

  1. The Hindu │ National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2019-20)
  2. PIB | National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2019-20)

UDAN 5.0

Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched the 5th round of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN).

UDAN

  • UDAN is a regional connectivity scheme spearheaded by the Government of India (GoI).
  • The full form of UDAN is 'Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagarik' and aims to develop smaller regional airports to allow common citizens easier access to aviation services.
  • This scheme is a part of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) and is funded jointly by the GoI and the state governments.

Key Features

  • This round of UDAN focuses on Category-2 (20-80 seats) and Category-3 (>80 seats).
  • The earlier stage length cap of 600 km is waived off and there is no restriction on the distance between the origin and destination of the flight.
  • Viability gap funding (VGF) to be provided will be capped at 600 km stage length for both Priority and Non-Priority areas.
  • No predetermined routes would be offered. Only Network and Individual Route Proposal proposed by airlines will be considered.
  • The same route will not be awarded to a single airline more than once, whether in different networks or in the same network.
  • Airlines would be required to commence operations within 4 months of the award of the route. Earlier this deadline was 6 months.
  • A list of airports that are ready for operation or would soon be ready for operations has been included in the scheme to facilitate quicker operationalization of routes under the Scheme.

Reference

  1. PIB | UDAN 5.0
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