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30th September Current Affairs

India lacks a complete pediatric cardiac-care service

(GS-II: Issues related to development of social sector involving healthcare)

In News:

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common congenital disorder(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S).

Details:

It is responsible for 28% of all congenital birth defects, and accounts for 6%-10 % of all the infant deaths in India.

Prevalence rate in India:

According to the Pediatric Cardiac Society of India (PCSI), congenital cardiac anomalies are one in every 100 live births.

Reasons for negligence of Pediatric cardiac-care:

Economically unviable: Creating a comprehensive pediatric cardiology care service is usually considered economically unviable.

Resource intensive: It requires infrastructure investment that politicians and policymakers choose to evade.

Issues Involved:

Infrastructure problems: There are 22 hospitals and less than 50 centers in India with infant and neonatal cardiac services.

Center location: Most centers are located in regions with a lower burden of CHD.

For instance, Kerala has eight centers offering neonatal cardiac surgeries for an estimated 5(four point five)lakh annual childbirths.

Populous Uttar Pradesh and Bihar: They do not have a center capable of performing neonatal cardiac surgery.

Poverty: Transporting sick neonates from States with little or no cardiac care facilities to faraway centers for accurate diagnosis and treatment burdens parents financially.

Non-availability of equipment: There is the non-availability of crucial equipment that is essential for diagnosis of heart diseases in the unborn.

Congenital heart diseases (CHD):

They are problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth.

They may change the normal flow of blood through the heart.

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect.

Way forward:

Neonatal care and management: Pediatricians say antenatal detection of congenital anomalies is crucial for neonatal care and management.

So developing related infrastructure is a step in the right direction.

Learning from states: Kerala’s ‘Hridayam (for little hearts)’, aimed at early detection, management and support to children with CHD

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme offers free specialized surgeries.

The National Health Protection Scheme (Ayushman Bharat): It will financially assist poor families.

Implementing this scheme is a step forward.

Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have already started.

Electoral Bearer Bond Scheme

In News:

The Government of India has notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018.

Who can purchase it?

Citizen of India: Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.

Single or jointly: A person being an individual can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.

Eligibility:

Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951: Which secured not less than one percent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State.

Authorized bank: The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.

State Bank of India (SBI): Ithas been authorized to issue and encash Electoral Bonds.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

In News:

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) celebrated its 18th Formation Day on September 28, 2022, in New Delhi. Theme for this year’s Foundation Day was “Volunteerism in Disaster Management”.

What is NDMA?

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is India’s apex statutory body for disaster management.

The Prime Minister is its chairperson and it has nine other members. One of the nine members is designated as Vice-Chairperson.

The primary responsibility for the management of disaster rests with the State Government concerned. However, the National Policy on Disaster Management puts in place an enabling environment for all i.e., the Centre, state and district.

India is also a signatory to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) that sets targets for disaster management.

The draft Telecommunication Bill, 2022

(GS-II: Parliament-Structure, functioning and conduct of business, achievements of India in Science and technology etc)

In News:

The Ministry of Communications released a draft of the Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022 for public comments.

The three main legislations that occupy this domain:

Indian Telegraph Act, 1885

Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933

Telegraph Wires (Unlawful) Possession Act, 1950

What is the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022?

Update the extant regulatory framework: The draft is to update the extant regulatory framework in keeping with the advancements and challenges in the sector.

Repeal legislations: It looks to repeal three legislations and “restructure the legal and regulatory framework” for the telecommunications sector.

Enabling the government to order suspension of internet power: It has been introduced through the draft Bill.

Currently, suspension of internet services is ordered under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency and Public Safety) Rules, 2017.

Primary route for allocation of the spectrum is auction: when spectrum is to be allocated for certain functions of the government such as defense or transportation.

TSP to exploit its spectrum resource fully: By enabling sharing, trading, leasing, surrendering or returning unutilised spectrum.

Simplifies: The Bill also simplifies the process for restructuring, merging or demerging.

Land owned by a public entity: It mandates that land owned by a public entity should be available expeditiously unless there is an express ground of refusal.

Universal Service Obligation Fund: It allows this fund to be utilized for other purposes such as urban areas connectivity, research etc.

Over-the-top (OTT) communication services:

It refers to services that provide real time person-to-person telecommunication services.

Some popular examples include:

Messaging platforms like Whatsapp, Telegram, Signal, Messenger, Duo, Google Meet etc.

How does the draft affect over-the-top communication services?

Telecom Service Providers (TSPs): They provide network infrastructure to OTT’s.

They allege it will cut their sources of revenue (voice calls, SMS) as they will not have to deal with infrastructure and licensing costs that they have to undertake.

OTT telecommunication services may be subject to the same licensing conditions as TSPs: The current draft of the Bill expands the definition of “telecommunication services” to include OTT communication services.

Consumer protection measures in the draft Bill:

The identity of the person communicating through telecommunication services: It shall be available to the user receiving such communication.

The name of the person would also be displayed along with phone no.

To ensure that a user provides correct details: Penalizes providing wrong identification details with a ₹50,000 fine and suspending the operation of the specific mobile number or barring the person from using the telecom service for a certain duration.

Consent of subscribers: Commercial communications which are advertising and promotional in nature should be made only with the prior consent of a subscriber.

How does the draft Bill impact the position of the TRAI?

Recommendatory body: Reducing it from a regulatory to a recommendatory body.

No recommendations for licenses: The government would no longer be required to seek recommendations from the TRAI before issuing licenses.

Requisition of information:It removes the power of the TRAI to requisition from the government information or documents that are necessary to make such recommendations.

Reconsideration: Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will no longer be required to refer back to TRAI the recommendations for reconsideration.