TOPIC: INDIAN ECONOMY-PLANNING
ORDINANCE ENABLING FDI IN COAL MINING
Context: The Union Cabinet on approved an ordinance to amend two laws to ease mining rules, enabling foreign direct investment in coal mining.
- At a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister, the ordinance to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the CoalMines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 was approved.
- The ordinance opens up the sector to players outside steel and power as well as removes end-use restrictions.
- The move might put an end to Coal India Ltd’s monopoly in the sector.
- Coal India would be strengthened and the government is aiming at achieving production of one billion tonnes by 2023-2024.
REFORMS IN 2018
- In 2018, the government allowed commercial mining by private entities and set a mining target of 1.5 billion tonnes by 2020.
- Out of this, 1 billion tonnes was set to be from Coal India, while 500 million tonnes was to be from non-Coal India entities.
- This target has now been revised to 1 billion tonnes by 223-24.
- Decision would boost the ease of doing business and increase the growth avenues.
- End-use restrictions have been done away with allowing anyone to participate in the auction of coal blocks.
- The ordinance would strengthen the auction process of those mines whose leases were expiring on March 31, 2020.
- Seamless transfer of clearances would also be facilitated.
- The steel industry would get cheaper inputs, leading to an increase in competitiveness.
- The move is likely to create an efficient energy market and bring in more competition as well as reduce coal imports.
- The move would also help India gain access to high-end technology for underground mining used by miners across the globe.
TOPIC: OVERVIEW OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION.
ANDHRA PRADESH LAUNCHES AMMA VODI SCHEME
Context: Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh launched the Jagananna Amma Vodi programme in Chittoor on January 9.
AMMA VODI SCHEME
- Under the scheme, a financial assistance of 15,000 will be given to nearly 43 lakh mothers or guardians who send their children to school.
- Student enrolment has already increased by 30% in the current academic year after the announcement of the scheme.
- Funds to the tune of 6,455.80 crore have been allocated for implementation of the scheme in the academic year 2019-20 in all government, private aided, private unaided schools/junior colleges.
- School and college dropouts are not eligible for this scheme and neither are government employees and income-tax payers.
- The initial rule of 75% mandatory attendance has been waived to encourage mothers to send their children to school.
- Orphans and street children studying in schools through voluntary organisations have been covered under the scheme and the money will be given to the organisations.
- The promised aid of 15000 will be directly deposited in the beneficiaries’ savings bank accounts in January every year until the child completes class 12.
- The Regional Joint Directors of the School Education Department and the Intermediate Boards will submit periodical reports for proper monitoring by the respective district Collectors.
- The scheme has come as a boon for poor families who want to send their children to schools but cannot due to lack of resources.
- Education is a big asset for children which can transform their lives and bring reforms in society.
TOPIC: HISTORY & CULTURAL HERITAGE
(INDIA AND KARNATAKA)
POLICE DENY PERMISSION FOR SRINGERI LIT FEST
Context: The Sringeri police have denied the Chikkamagaluru district unit of Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP) the permission to hold Kannada Sahitya Sammelan in the town on January 10 and 11.
However, the district unit has decided to go ahead with the programme.
- The event has been controversial with Minister for Kannada and Culture C.T. Ravi and some right-wing groups opposing the selection of Kalkuli Vittala Heggade as the Sammelan president.
- Earlier, the central unit of KSP had refused to give 5 lakh grants to hold the Sammelan, citing Mr. Ravi’s direction.
- The Minister has criticized the selection of Mr. Heggade as president of the event and said he would support it if he is replaced.
- The Chikkamagaluru unit of the parishat has crowd funded resources to hold the Sammelana.
KALKULI VITTALA HEGGADE.
- Kalkuli Vittal Hegde, is a farmer and a renowned environmental activist in Sringeri, Karnataka,
- Hegde has been a farmer for more than four decades.
- He was born in Sringeri and has lived there ever since, although his work and experience extend to most places in Karnataka.
- He was a member of the All India Democratic Youth Organisation, a left-wing student union, in his early days as a student.
- Since he never cared much for the conventional education system, he did not bother himself with colleges and exams.
- His turf was social and environmental activism. Whether it is environmental conservation or the tribal movement against exploitation and displacement, he was at the forefront.
- He shot to prominence during the movement against iron ore mining in Kudremukh in Karnataka.
- It also earned him the wrath of the establishment, including that of successive state governments, whose known means of dealing with dissent was to categorise the dissenters as Naxalites.
KANNADA SAAHITHYA PARISHATH
- Kannada Saahithya Parishath(Kannada Literary Council) is an Indian non-profit organisation that promotes the Kannada language.
- Its headquarters is in the city of Bengaluruin the state of Karnataka, India.
- It strives to promote Kannada language through publishing books, organizing literary seminars and promoting research projects.
- It also organizes an annual conference on Kannada literature called Kannada Sahitya Sammelana (Kannada Literary Meet).
- The current president of the parishat is Manu Baligar.
TOPIC: LIFE SCIENCE, AGRICULTURE, SCIENCE, HEALTH AND HYGIENE
INFANT DEATHS IN KARNATAKA
Context: According to the Sample Registration System taken up by the Office of the Registrar General of India, Karnataka which is considered to be a prosperous state has recorded 57000 infant deaths in the past 5 years.
- The SRS taken up by the Office of the Registrar General of India is a large-scale demographic survey for providing reliable annual estimates of infant mortality rate, birth rate, death rate, and other fertility and mortality indicators at the national and regional level.
- In the backdrop of a large number of infant deaths in Kota, Rajasthan, IMR in other states has assumed significance.
INFANT MARTALITY IN KARNATAKA
- Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the State has gone up from 24 to 25 in 2017, according to the Sample Registration System (SRS) 2017.
- Karnataka had successfully brought down IMR from 28 in 2015 to 24 in 2016.
- The department had intensified Reproductive Child Health (RCH) activities, streamlining ante-natal check up and mother and child care.
TOP 5 DISTRICTS IN KARNATAKA WHICH REPORTED HIGHEST INFANT MORTALITY
- Bengaluru city
BETTER THAN NATIONAL AVERAGE
- Despite this, Karnataka’s IMR is better than the country’s average that is 33 infant deaths per thousand live births in 2017.
- In the last 10 years, IMR has witnessed a decline of about 36.7% in rural areas and about 36% in urban areas at the national level.
- IMR at the all-India level has declined from 53 to 33 in the last decade.
- The corresponding decline in rural areas is 58 to 37 and for urban areas it is from 36 to 23.
- However, neonatal mortality in Karnataka, which constitutes 70% of infant deaths, has marginally declined in the last five years.
- From 25 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009, it has come down to 18 per 1,000 live births in 2017 ranking the State second highest among the four southern States (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala) in terms of reduction in neonatal mortality.
TOP CAUSES OF INFANT MORTALITY
- Premature birth
- Sepsis or meningitis
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Low birth weight
- Disability at birth
- Respiratory problems etc
- IMR is defined as the infant deaths (less than one year) per thousand live births in a given time period and for a given region.
- This rate is an important key indicator for a country’s health and standard of living; a low infant mortality rate indicates a high standard of healthcare
STEPS TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT
- In 1997, the Government of India launched the Reproductive and child health programme, an initiative to reduce infant, child and maternal mortality rates.
- In 2000, the country signed the Millennium Declaration adopted at the UN General Assembly – which has as its fourth goal for 2015 that of reducing child mortality and as its fifth goal improving maternal health.
- In addition, the Indian government has adopted ambitious targets related to children that are in line with – and at times more ambitious than – the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through “five-year plans”.
- These centrally sponsored schemes have increased public resources to key sectors, which included the RCH Programme II and the National Health Mission (NHM).
- The NHM comes under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
- “Emphasis on facility-based newborn care at different levels to reduce child mortality: setting up of facilities for care of sick newborns such as Special Newborn Care Units…
- “Capacity-building of healthcare providers [with training] being conducted under the NHM to train doctors, nurses and ANMs [auxiliary nurse midwives] for early diagnosis and case management of common ailments of children and care of the mother during pregnancy and delivery…
- “Management of malnutrition: Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs) have been established for the management of severe acute malnutrition
- “Appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding practices are being promoted in [convergence with the Ministry of Women and Child Development…
- “Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP): vaccination protects children against many life-threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis [whooping cough], Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Measles.
LABOUR ROOM QUALITY IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVE
- LaQshya (Labour room Quality improvement Initiative) is being implemented in all public health centres to reduce newborn mortality and morbidity due to haemorrhage, retained placenta, eclampsia, and obstructed labour and newborn sepsis.
- The initiative aims at improving the quality of care during the delivery and immediately after, to stabilize complications and enable an effective two-way follow-up system.
KANGAROO MOTHER CARE
- Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is a special method of care of low birth weight (<2500gm) babies.
- As the name suggests Kangaroo Mother Care consists of keeping the baby in close skin-to-skin contact with his/her mother as practiced by female kangaroo animal for their babies.
- Keeping the baby warm
- Promoting and sustaining breastfeeding
- Decreasing risk of infection
- Promoting bonding between baby and mother
QUESTION: What are the reasons for high infant deaths in India? What measures have been taken by the government to reduce the same? (20 marks)