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Insights Daily Current Events, 19 October 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 19 October 2015

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Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Blood banks can borrow from one another

The Union Health Ministry has decided to allow blood banks to borrow blood units from one another in case of a shortage.

  • The Ministry took this decision as part of reforms to the handling of blood units in the country.
  • This decision is expected to sort out the issue of shortage.

Earlier, donated blood could not be transferred from one bank to another.

Background:

  • A shortage of blood units has been a recurring problem since the Supreme Court, in 1998, banned paid donation.
  • The government has been encouraging voluntary donation ever since.
  • When the Supreme Court banned paid donation, the government was mandated, under the National Blood Policy (2002), to phase out replacement donation in five years.

What has been done to address the issue?

  • Since very few people donate blood regularly, hospitals ask family members of patients to donate blood so as to pre-emptively replace the blood withdrawn from the blood bank.
  • The National and State Blood Transfusion Councils were also established in the 1990s to promote voluntary donations.

According to the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), India has 2,760 licensed blood banks. A 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO) report said nine million of 12 million blood units needed annually in India were collected through voluntary donation.

National Blood Policy:

The policy aims to ensure easily accessible and adequate supply of safe and quality blood and blood components collected / procured from a voluntary non-remunerated regular blood donor in well equipped premises, which is free from transfusion transmitted infections, and is stored and transported under optimum conditions.

  • Transfusion under supervision of trained personnel for all who need it irrespective of their economic or social status through comprehensive, efficient and a total quality management approach will be ensured under the policy.

Important objectives of the policy:

  • To reiterate firmly the Govt. commitment to provide safe and adequate quantity of blood, blood components and blood products.
  • To make available adequate resources to develop and reorganise the blood transfusion services in the entire country.
  • To make latest technology available for operating the blood transfusion services and ensure its functioning in an updated manner.
  • To launch extensive awareness programmes for donor information, education, motivation, recruitment and retention in order to ensure adequate availability of safe blood.
  • To encourage appropriate clinical use of blood and blood products.
  • To strengthen the manpower through human resource development.

sources: the hindu, pib.

 

Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure.

Godavari to be declared national waterway

The Centre has agreed to include the stretch of the river Godavari from Nasik in Maharashtra to Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh in the revised National Waterways Bill, 2015.

Background:

  • The Telangana Government had also recently requested the centre to include the stretch of the Godavari from Kaleshwaram to Bhadrachalam as part of the National Waterway-4 from Bhadrachalam to Rajahmundry.
  • The National Waterways Bill was tabled in the parliament in May for declaring an additional 101 inland waterways as national waterways.
  • The bill was examined by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture and had recommended that a revised bill be tabled during the next session of Parliament by including the stretch of Godavari from Nasik to Rajahmundry as National Waterway.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India.

sources: the hindu, wiki.

 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Pension fund regulator seeks fiscal support from Centre

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has asked the central government to support its ongoing move to expand the subscriber base.

  • PFRDA recently achieved a new milestone in assets under management (AUM) and subscriber base. The AUM of its national pension system (NPS) has crossed Rs.1-trillion-mark in the first week of October at around Rs.1,10,000 crore, while the NPS subscriber base also crossed 1-crore-mark in the first week of October.
  • The efforts of PFRDA are now targeted at expanding the subscriber base further, particularly in the corporate and the private citizens segments.
  • It is also working towards further improving the infrastructure for minimising the response time. As part of this measure, PFRDA is more closely co-ordinating with the Centre and States whose share accounts for over 90% of the total AUM.

PFRDA:

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is a pension regulatory authority which was established in 2003.

  • It is authorized by Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services.
  • It promotes old age income security by establishing, developing and regulating pension funds and protects the interests of subscribers to schemes of pension funds and related matters.
  • It is also responsible for appointment of various intermediate agencies such as Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA), Pension Fund Managers, Custodian, NPS Trustee Bank, etc.

sources: the hindu, wiki.