Insights Daily Current Events, 09 November 2015
Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
One Rank One Pension
The Government recently issued the much awaited One Rank One Pension or OROP notification. Although, a formal announcement on OROP was made in September 2015, no official order was issued because of Bihar elections and the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct.
- With this announcement, over 25 lakh veterans across the country will get at least Rs. 3,000 to 5,000 more in pensions – depending on their last rank and years of service.
- The increased pension will be paid with effect from July 1, 2014.
- According to the notification, the government will pay the arrears of OROP in four equal half-yearly installments. However, all family pensioners, including those receiving special or liberalized family pension and gallantry award winners, will get their arrears in a single installment.
- The pension of past pensioners would be fixed on the basis of the pension of retirees of 2013, and the benefit will be granted from July 1, 2014.
- The government has reversed its contentious proposal to exclude ex-servicemen who had sought premature retirement from the ambit of OROP.
- The government has also notified the appointment of a judicial committee to look into anomalies of OROP. The panel will submit its report in six months.
However, Ex-servicemen are not happy with this notification mainly because of the following reasons:
- According to the notification, pension would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of calendar year 2013 and the benefit will be effective with effect from July 1, 2014. The veterans had demanded that the period for pension should be financial year 2013-14 and not the calender year. Also, they wanted April 1 as the effective date instead of July 1.
- The notification says that in future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years. However, ex-servicemen had been demanding revision of pension every two years, if not one.
- The notification says pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retiring in 2013 in the same rank and with the same length of service. The veterans had demanded to take into account the maximum and not the average.
- The Government has appointed a one man judicial commission to examine issues, while veterans want the committee to comprise soldiers only.
sources: the hindu, ie, pib.
Topic: Bilateral relations
The seventh edition India-Russia Joint Military Exercise ‘Indra-2015’ has begun in Bikaner district of Rajasthan.
- The main focus of this exercise is on ‘Counter-Terrorism Operations in Desert Terrain under a United Nations Mandate’.
- The bilateral exercise would be held between Indian Army’s Infantry Battalion and Independent Russian Motorised Brigade.
- It would be conducted 2 phases, namely ‘Combat Conditioning & Tactical Training’ and ‘Validation’ phases.
- This joint exercise will also engage in variety of joint missions including joint planning, Search and Rescue, Cordon and Search operations, special arms skills and joint tactical drills.
The bilateral exercise seeks to further boost people to people as well as military to military ties between India and Russia.
sources: pib, et.
Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.
WHO declares end of Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone
WHO has officially declared Sierra Leone Ebola-free. Sierra Leone recorded around half of the total Ebola cases that had infected 28,600 people across the three hardest-hit west African nations- Liberia, Sierra leone and Guinea.
- The announcement represents a hugely significant milestone in UN-backed efforts to wipe out Ebola, leaving neighbouring Guinea as the only country still registering cases.
- In May 2015, WHO had declared Liberia as the first country to be Ebola-free.
- Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. It is a disease of humans and other primates caused by an ebolavirus.
- Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches.
- The virus may be acquired upon contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal.
- Fruit bats are believed to be a carrier and may spread the virus without being affected. Once human infection occurs, the disease may spread between people, as well.
- In order to reduce the spread, the World Health Organization recommends raising community awareness of the risk factors for Ebola infection and the protective measures individuals can take. These include avoiding contact with infected people and regular hand washing using soap and water. Traditional burial rituals, especially those requiring washing or embalming of bodies, should be discouraged or modified.
sources: et, ie.