On May 15, 2023, Kerala became the first state in India to launch a welfare fund for Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) workers in the State.
· The initiative was launched by the Chief Minister (CM) of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan at Kotta Maidanam, Palakkad, as part of the 100-day action plan in connection with the state government’s second anniversary.
· This fund is based upon the Kerala Employment Guarantee Workers’ Welfare Fund Act, 2021.
Highlights of Fund:
i.The Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme workers will also be part of the welfare fund.
ii.Under this, the workers who have completed the age of 60 will be entitled for pension which will also provide financial assistance for medical treatment, education, marriage, among other benefits.
i.Under this, the workers need to pay a nominal monthly amount of Rs 50 as contribution to the fund and the government will also contribute an equal amount.
· Those who have paid the contributions for ten or more years, their families will get the benefits in case of beneficiary’s death.
ii.Eligibility for membership includes being between 18 to 55 years of age
and having engaged in unskilled work for at least 20 days in the year of
application or any year in the two years immediately preceding it.
iii.27 lakh people in Kerala depend on the MGNREGS, and at least 90% of the work (jobs) under the scheme in Kerala goes to women
iv.This scheme will also aid in the social development of Kerala.
v.Notably through MGNREGS, a family gets an average of 50 days of work at national level whereas in Kerala an average of 64 days of work was being provided.
Governor– Arif Mohammed Khan
Natural Heritage Site– Western Ghats
Bird Sanctuaries– Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (Vembanad Bird Sanctuary), Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary
Union Government (Govt) plans to develop the Indian Carbon Market (ICM)
where a national framework will be established to decarbonise the Indian
economy by pricing the Green House Gas (GHG) emissions through trading of
the carbon credit certificates.
Carbon Credit Trading Scheme: The Bureau of Energy Efficiency, under the Ministry of Power (MoP), along with the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change(MoEF&CC) is developing the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme for the ICM.
· As India has an energy savings-based market mechanism, the scheme will improve the energy transition efforts with increased scope and cover the potential energy sectors in India.
A one-day ‘Stakeholder Consultation on Accredited Carbon Verifiers under
ICM’ was organized on May 11, 2023, in New Delhi, Deli with participants from
key stakeholders including Accredited Energy Auditors, Carbon/Energy Verifiers,
Sector Experts etc.
Key Purpose of ICM:
i.ICM will enable the creation of a competitive market which would provide incentives to climate actors to adopt low-cost options by attracting technology and finance towards sustainable projects that generate carbon credits.
ii.Methodologies for the estimation of carbon emissions reductions and removals from various registered projects would be developed by ICM.
iii.Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) guidelines for the emissions scheme are also planned to be developed under ICM (after consultation).
· Further, it would also stipulate the required validation, registration, verification, and issuance processes to operationalize the scheme.
iv.A comprehensive institutional and governance structure with specific roles
was planned to be set up for each party who is involved in the execution of
Climate Action Target:
i.India is at the forefront of climate action to meet the climate goals through its ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
· The Union govt is developing the ICM to facilitate the achievement of India’s enhanced climate targets and to meet future goals.
ii.The ICM will facilitate achieving the NDC goal of reducing the Emissions
Intensity of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 45% by 2030 against 2005
iii.ICM will mobilize new mitigation opportunities through demand for emission credits by private and public entities.
About Ministry of Power:
Union Minister – Raj Kumar Singh (Constituency – Arrah, Bihar)
Minister of State(MoS) – Krishan Pal
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has prepared the “Model Prisons Act 2023” which will replace “The Prisons Act, of 1894”, a 130-year-old British-era law, to overhaul the prison administration that will focus on the reformation and rehabilitation of inmates.
· The decision was taken under the leadership of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi and the guidance of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
· Apart from ‘The Prisons Act, of 1894’, MHA also reviewed ‘The Prisoners Act, of 1900’ and ‘The Transfer of Prisoners Act, of 1950’ by taking relevant provisions of these Acts and assimilating them into the “Model Prisons Act, of 2023”.
· “Model Prisons Act, 2023” allows security assessment and segregation of prisons, separate wards for women and transgenders and punishment for conniving jail staff among other provisions
· The aim is to provide a guiding document for states to adopt in their jurisdictions and improve prison systems across India.
On 14th May 2023, the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Mumbai, Maharashtra, signed an official Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate with various prestigious institutions, universities & government bodies on the occasion of IIP’s 57th Foundation Day celebrations at Hotel The Lalit, Andheri, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
· IIP has signed MoUs with various institutions including The Bihar Agriculture University, Bhagalpur, Bihar, The National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Sonipat, Haryana, The National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Thanjavur(Tamil Nadu-TN), The Tamilnadu Veterinary & Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), Chennai(TN) and The North East Handloom & Handicraft Development Corporation (NHDC), Guwahati, Assam.
· The MoU was inspired by Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Textile; Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs; Minister of Affairs, and Food and Public Distribution.
· IIP also released a special book on the packaging designs developed by IIP for the ODOP project, Government of India as a special achievement.
Note: WorldStar Awards by World Packaging Organization (WPO) is coming to India in 2024. India is among the top 3 at Worldstar Awards 2023.
On May 15, 2023, the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE India)
launched the rupee-denominated New York Mercantile Exchange’s (NYMEX)
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil and Natural Gas futures contracts in
its commodity derivatives segment.
i.In February 2023, NSE signed a data licensing agreement with CME Group to list, trade and settle rupee-denominated NYMEX WTI crude and Henry Hub natural gas derivatives contracts on its platform.
ii.On March 02, 2023, the NSE received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch the rupee-denominated NYMEX WTI crude oil and natural gas futures contracts in its commodity derivatives segment.
i.The NYMEX WTI contracts will be suitable for FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) to get the benefit of margin collateral from their cash holdings in NSE to trade in these commodity derivative contracts
ii.The NYMEX WTI will provide effective trading and hedging opportunities to the market participants, with the availability of key energy products on a single trading platform.
iii.The NYMEX WTI Crude Oil and Natural Gas contracts are among the world’s most traded commodity derivatives contracts generating interest from across the globe.
About National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE India):
NSE India was incorporated in 1992. It was recognized as a Stock Exchange by SEBI in 1993 and commenced operations in 1994.
MD & CEO – Ashishkumar Chauhan
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
On May 12, 2023, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of
India (IRDAI) directed all insurers to provide comprehensive insurance
coverage for surrogate mothers and oocyte donors in compliance with the
provisions of the two Acts, Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, and Assisted
Reproductive Technology (ART) Act, 2021.
i.Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021:
· According to the act, the intending woman or couple should purchase 3-year health insurance from an insurance company or an agent recognised by the IRDAI for the surrogate mother.
· The Insurance coverage should be for an amount sufficient to cover all expenses for all complications arising out of pregnancy and also cover post-partum delivery complications.
ii.ART Act, 2021: This article has stipulated
insurance coverage for 12 months from an insurance company or an agent
recognised by the IRDAI in favour of the oocyte donor by the commissioning
couple or woman, for an amount sufficient to cover all expenses for
complications arising due to oocyte retrieval.
· It is a legal and regulated arrangement in which a woman (the surrogate mother) carries a pregnancy and gives birth to a child on behalf of another individual or couple (the intended parents).
· The surrogate mother will agree to nurture the embryo or fetus until birth and transfer parental rights to the intended parents.
ii.ART: As per the act, ART means all techniques that attempt to obtain a pregnancy by handling the sperm or the oocyte outside the human body and transferring the gamete or the embryo into the reproductive system of a woman.
World Bank (WB) has approved a grant of Rs 51
crore for the project to set up an integrated road safety enforcement
system in the Shimla and Nurpur police districts of Himachal Pradesh
(HP) and develop the Palampur-Sheela Chowk in Kangra (HP) as a “safe
Integrated Road Safety:
i.The project envisages the establishment of a traffic enforcement control room in Shimla and the allocation of funds for interceptors and patrol vehicles, an intelligent traffic management system, artificial intelligence (AI) cameras and rescue equipment.
ii.As per the statement of Sandeep Dhawal, Superintendent of Police, Traffic, 120 locations have been identified in the Shimla district for the installation of AI-powered cameras.
· The locations include Theog, Rampur, Rohru, Kumarsain, Kotkhai, Nerva, Jubbal, Chopal, Sunni, Shimla, etc.
i.Under the first phase of the project, Shimla and Nurpur have been selected and a sum of Rs 42 crore (out of Rs 51 Crore granted by WB) will be spent on both police districts to strengthen their emergency response.
ii.The Palampur-Sheela Chowk stretch of road in Kangra has been chosen to be developed at a cost of Rs 9 crore as a safe corridor under the Safe Corridor Demonstration Programme (SCDP) by making safety interventions and design improvements.
Data over Road Accidents :
i.According to the analysis of crash data of all districts (over the past few years), site visits, surveys of existing resources, and identification of black spots and accident-prone stretches, Shimla, Mandi and Kangra districts are the most accident-prone districts of HP.
ii.The highest number of over 1,170 fatalities were reported out of 2,600 road accidents that occurred in Shimla from 2017 to 2022.
iii.The number of accidents in HP was reduced from 3,114 in 2017 to about 2,600 in 2022.
About World Bank (WB):
World Bank Group President – David Malpass
Headquarters – Washington, DC, USA
Establishment – 1944
On 15th May 2023, BSE (formerly known as the Bombay Stock Exchange), Asia’s oldest stock exchange, relaunched Sensex and Bankex derivative contracts in its bid to boost derivative trading at India’s premier bourse.
· The relaunch of derivative contracts comes with a reduced lot size of futures and options and a new expiry cycle of Friday from Thursday earlier.
· The lot size of futures and options has been reduced to 10 from 15 for Sensex, and to 15 from 20 in the case of Bankex.
· It evoked a good response from market participants.
· Nearly 100 members participated in trading with a total turnover of Rs 53.12 crores with an open interest of 252 lots.
Note: BSE launched Sensex-30 derivatives (options and futures), which are made up of 30 of the largest and most actively traded companies on BSE, for the first time in 2000.
On May 15 2023, The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Ravneet Kaur, a 1988 Punjab cadre IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer, as the Chairperson of Competition Commission of India (CCI). She has been appointed for a period of 5 years with effect from the date of assuming the charge or till the date of attaining the age of 65 or until further order.
· Ravneet Kaur becomes the first woman and non-secretary bureaucrat to be appointed as a CCI Chairperson.
· She will replace CCI Member Sangeeta Verma who has been serving as the interim (acting) chairperson of CCI since October 2022 after Ashok Kumar Gupta demitted office.
· Ravneet Kaur is currently serving as the Additional Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner at the Department of Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management in Chandigarh, Punjab.
Note: CCI has to have a chairperson, not less than two and not more than six
other members, as per the Competition Act.
About Ravneet Kaur:
Ravneet Kaur has served at various capacities in the government over the period of two decades.
i. From 2006 to 2008, Ravneet Kaur was the Director at Department of Economic Affairs, and from 2008 to 2011 she was the Joint Secretary at the Department of Financial Services and from 2012 to 2013 she served as the Principal Secretary of the Punjab government for 11 months.
ii. She served as thePrincipal Secretary Cabinet, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs for the Punjab government from 2014 to 2015 and later was appointed as the Joint Secretary Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
iii. She served as the Chairperson and Managing Director (CMD) of India Tourism Development Corporation from 2017 to 2019.
iv. In 2019, Ravneet Kaur was appointed the Additional Chief Secretary of the Punjab government, and was also given the charge of Additional Chief Secretary & Financial Commissioner at the Department of Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body (within the Ministry of Corporate Affairs) of the Government of India under the Competition Act, 2002 for the administration, implementation, and enforcement of the Act.
Established in– 14 October 2003 (Operating from March 2009)
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Chairperson– Ravneet Kaur
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the appointment of Anil Kumar Jain, a former Coal Secretary, as the new Chairman of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). He has been appointed for a period of 5 years from the date of assumption of charge of the post or till attaining the age of 65 years, or until further orders.
· The Chairman position of PNGRB has been lying vacant since Dinesh Kumar Sarraf retired on 4th December 2020.
About Anil Kumar Jain:
i. Anil Kumar Jain is a 1986 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre.
ii. He served in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) from 2003 to 2006 as the Director (Natural Gas), after which he was promoted to Joint Secretary (Exploration), a position he held until 2008.
iii. He served as the head of the Energy division of the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) from 2012 to 2017. He served as the Adviser (Energy) at NITI Aayog and was later promoted to Additional Secretary for the Energy vertical.
iv. He also served as the additional secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). In 2019, he was appointed Secretary of the Ministry of Coal.
Anil Kumar Jain has authored 2 books: Natural Gas in India: Policy and Liberalisation (2012) and Natural Gas in India Challenges and Opportunities (2022) and several articles on the oil and gas sector.
About the Petroleum & Natural Gas REgulartory Board (PNGRB):
i. The PNGRB was constituted under The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006 (NO.19 of 2006) notified on 31st March 2006.
ii. PNGRB is the 1st regulatory body set up by the Government of India (GoI).
Chairman- Anil Kumar Jain
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
On 15th May 2023, Amy E. Pope (49 years old) of the United States of America (USA) was elected as the 1st woman Director General (DG) of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations(UN) Migration Agency. She will take over as the 11th DG of IOM for a 5-year term beginning on 1 October 2023.
· She defeated the incumbent DG of IOM Antonio Vitorino of Portugal, the European Union(EU) candidate, who has been serving as the DG of IOM since 2018.
· Prior to joining IOM, Amy Pope served as the Senior Advisor on Migration to President Biden in 2021, as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor from 2015-2017, and as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on Transborder Security from 2013-2015.
i.On May 15, 2023, the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the
flagship initiative of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), signed its 250th contract
with Thane (Maharashtra) based InspeCity Space Laboratories
Pvt. Ltd., and 100th SPRINT (Navy) contract with Pune (Maharashtra)
based Siliconia Technologies Pvt Ltd in New Delhi, Delhi.
ii.The Contract with InspeCity is a first contract under Mission DefSpace which envisages the development of a gas-based system for micro propulsion of CubeSats.
iii.The contract with Siliconia Technologies Pvt Ltd is 100th SPRINT (Navy) contract which envisages the development of a prototype that provides multiple independent receiver and transmitter sources essential in phased-array radars used in satellite tracking.
About Ministry of Defence (MoD):
Union Minister– Rajnath Singh (Constituency- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State– Ajay Bhatt (Constituency- Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)
On May 10 2023, Vast, a California (United States of America) based Space startup, has announced plan to launch the world’s first commercial space station, called Haven-1 and planned to launch using the SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies) Falcon 9 rocket to low-Earth orbit as soon as August 2025.
· Haven-1 will initially act as an independent crewed space station before connecting as a module to a larger Vast space station currently in development.
· The initial mission will be followed by a Crew Dragon mission called Vast-1 that will transport four astronauts to the module for a stay of up to 30 days and Vast-1 will also launch atop a Falcon 9, and its astronauts will ride on a SpaceX Dragon capsule.
· It is the first time in history that a commercial space station company has both a contracted launch for its space station as well as a visiting human spaceflight mission.
Haven-1 and its features:
i. The first station Haven-1 of Vast featuring artificial gravity powered by rotational velocity and initially Haven-1 is intended to operate on its own, but will eventually become one module in a larger Vast station, and it can simulate the Moon’s gravity by spinning.
ii. Haven-1 is small enough that it can be launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and will extend the on-orbit duration of commercial Dragon spacecraft human spaceflight missions for up to 30 days for four astronauts.
iii. It features a docking hatch designed for Crew Dragon, and looks to be a little over double the height of SpaceX’s human-rated spacecraft.
iv. Science, research, and in-space manufacturing opportunities – 1000 Watt of power, 24/7 communications, and up to 150 kg of pre-loaded cargo mass in Haven-1.
v. Fully independent space station providing life support functions and consumables for the full mission’s duration.
vi. Privacy and control of your crew schedule
vii. Large window dome for viewing and photography
viii. Always-on internet via onboard Wi-Fi and Room to stretch and rest
SpaceX will also provide crew training on Falcon 9 and the Dragon spacecraft, emergency preparedness, spacesuit and spacecraft ingress and egress exercises, as well as partial and full mission simulations including docking and undocking with Haven-1 for return to Earth.
i. Vast is selling up to 4 crewed seats on the inaugural mission to Haven-1, the company is open to both space agencies and their professional Astronauts, as well as private individuals aiming to do either scientific or philanthropic work.
ii. Vast also secured an option with SpaceX for a second mission, Vast-2, which would fly in 2026.
iii. Four companies have already received funding from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to develop private space stations. Vast isn’t one of the four, and getting its station into orbit first could give it an advantage over NASA’s existing partners when it comes to securing contracts.
Founded in– 2021
CEO– Jed McCaleb
Headquarters– California, United States of America
On 15th May 2023, Noted American economist and Nobel laureate, Robert Emerson Lucas Jr. (Robert Lucas), professor of Economics at the University of Chicago(since 1975), passed away in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America (USA), at the age of 85. He was born on 5th September 1937 in Yakima, Washington, USA.
· He won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science – officially known as “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” in 1995 for his work on rational expectations and the efficacy of government intervention in the economy.
About Robert Emerson Lucas Jr.:
i. Robert Lucas began his career as an economics professor at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University in the USA, from 1963 to 1974.
ii. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1980, the National Academy of Sciences in 1981, and the American Philosophical Society in 1997.
iii. Nobel Prize motivation:
· Robert Lucas received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1995 for having developed and applied the hypothesis of rational expectations, thereby transforming macroeconomic analysis and deepening our understanding of economic policy.
Contribution to Economics:
i. He has published his theories in journals, including “Expectations and the Neutrality of Money” (1972), “Econometric Policy Evaluation: A Critique” (1976), “On the Mechanics of Economic Development” (1988), “Supply Side Economics: An Analytical Review” (1990), and “Why Doesn’t Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?” (1990).
ii. His work “Studies in Business-Cycle Theory” (1981) collects his research from the 1970s, and “Models of Business Cycles” (1987) provides an overview of his economic theory.
iii. In 2001, Robert Lucas published Lectures on Economic Growth, a collection of his writings on economic growth.
iv. His other contributions are the “Lucas critique”, “Lucas paradox”, “Lucas Wedge”, and foundational contributions to behavioural economics.
National Dengue Day is annually observed across India on 16th May to create
awareness about dengue among general public and to promote the preventive
measure against dengue.
The observance of the National Dengue Day is led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoH&FW)
The government of India observes the 16th May as National Dengue Day and the month of July as the Anti Dengue Month to create awareness about Dengue- a mosquito-borne viral infection, which is predominantly found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide.
About National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC)
Director– Dr. Tanu Jain
United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Living Together in Peace is annually observed across the globe on May 16 to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity.
· The day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/72/130 on 8th December 2017 and proclaimed May 16 of every year as the
International Day of Living Together in Peace.
ii. The 1st ever International Day of Living Together in Peace was observed on 16th May 2018.
About the United Nations (UN):
Secretary-General- António Guterres
Headquarters- New York, USA
The International Day of Light (IDL) is a global initiative, annually observed on 16th May to celebrate the contribution of light in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.
· The International Day of Light is observed by the United Nations (UN)s and administered from the International Basic Science Programme (IBSP) of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
· The observance of the International Day of Light is a call to strengthen scientific cooperation and harness its potential to foster peace and sustainable development.
Note: May 16, 2023 marked the 6th edition of International Day of
i. In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed the year 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies(IYL 2015).
ii. Following the successful observance of IYL 2015, the Russian Federation, Ghana, Mexico, New Zealand proposed the annual observance of International Day of Light.
iii. The resolution was adopted on September 19 2016 at the UNESCO Executive Board’s 200th session (200 EX/Decision 27) held at the UNESCO Headquarter Paris in France.
iv. On November 7, 2017, The UNESCO’s General Conference adopted the 39 C/Resolution 16 and proclaimed the 16th May of every year as the International Day of Light.
· The first official International Day of Light was observed on May 16 2018.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Established in– 1945 (entered into force in 1946)
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
On May 15, 2023, the Andhra Pradesh’s (AP) Minister of Revenue, Dharmana Prasada Rao, launched ‘E-chits’ application, of and developed by, the Registration and Stamps Department to regulate funds through online transactions.
· This development comes amid the increasing number of cases of cheating of customers by chit fund companies.
· It will provide transparency in the chit fund business and prevent duping of customers.
More details about the initiative can be accessed at https://echits.rs.ap.gov.in.
To ensure better regulation of the chit fund businesses in AP
i.Through this app the concerned officials will provide online approvals for various processes to facilitate smooth transactions. In order to obtain these approvals, companies need to ensure that they fulfill all the required compliances through the E-chits platform.
ii. By using this app, individuals who are interested in subscribing to chit funds can easily verify if the companies they are considering are registered.
· They also have the option to contact the assistant registrars of chits located in each district headquarters for further assistance.
iii.In case, any subscriber facing a problem with a chit fund company, he/she
can file an online complaint to escalate the issue to the concerned officer.
About Andhra Pradesh (AP):
Chief Minister– Yeduguri Sandinti Jagan Mohan Reddy
Governor– Justice S Abdul Nazeer
Zoological Parks– Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park
On May 15 2023, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Chief Minister (CM) of Himachal Pradesh launched the Himcare scheme for jail inmates, by providing Himcare cards to the prisoners at Model Central Jail Kanda in Shimla.
· The initiative aims to cover the cost of premiums for inmates, easing their financial burden during their time in prison.
The HimCare scheme launch also included the integrated campaign against STI (Sexually transmitted infections), HIV (Human immunodeficiency viruses), TB (Tuberculosis), Hepatitis (ISHTH) in prisons and other closed settings at Kanda Jail, which will screen and treat prisoners across the state.
The efforts taken by the State Government is to get rid of the diseases and move forward to achieve the target of eliminating AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) by the year 2030.
i. The jail inmates under HimCare scheme would avoid facing scarcity of funds for treatment during illness.
ii. The registration of inmates under the HimCare scheme has been initiated and the state government would cover the cost of premiums for inmates lodged in jails and juvenile homes in the state in prisons.
Integrated Campaign ISHTH:
i. The integrated ISHTH campaign aimed at screening and treating 3,218 inmates of 14 jails in the State and 1,278 inmates of juvenile homes, nariniketan and drug rehabilitation centres.
ii. In order to make the campaign successful, teams have been formed at the district level, consisting of various medical professionals such as: District AIDS Program Officer, ICTC (Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres), ART (Antiretroviral therapy), Counsellor, Lab Technician, Freezer Peer Mobilizer and paramedical staff.
Note: The exercise would be completed across the state by June 14 2023.
i. The Health Department would provide free counselling, treatment and medicines for HIV, TB, STI and Hepatitis to the jail inmates during the campaign in order to prevent the spread of infections in society after the release of inmates.
ii. Ensuring proper care of HIV-infected persons by providing free of cost
medicines at 6 Antiretroviral centres besides financial assistance of Rs. 1500
per month and free bus pass facility for treatment.
Future Scheme for Orphans:
Himachal Pradesh Government is also in a plan to introduce a scheme “Mukhya Mantri Sukh Aashray Scheme” aimed at educating the children residing in Bal Sudhar Grih of the State, that provides comprehensive support to orphaned children up to 27 years of age, which includes education and hostel expenses, a pocket allowance of ₹4,000 and offering financial assistance to construct homes.
About Himachal Pradesh:
Chief Minister– Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu
Governor– Shiv Pratap Shukla
Stadium– Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCA Stadium), The Indira Gandhi Stadium
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