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Deocha Pachami Coal Block



  • GS Prelims
  • Geography, Important coal mines, Coal Energy

Why in news?

  • West Bengal has been allotted the Deocha Pachami Harinsingha Dewanganj coal mines.

About Deocha Pachami Coal mines:

  • West Bengal has been allotted the Deocha Pachami Harinsingha Dewanganj coal mines – the world’s second largest coal mine – located in Birbhum district by the Centre.
  • With an estimated reserve of 2,102 million tonnes, it is the second largest coal mine in the world.
  • The mining project has the potential of generating nearly one lakh jobs in Birbhum and neighbouring districts.
  • The block is located in the south-western part of Birbhum coalfield area in Deucha and Panchamati area adjoining the Dewanganj block.
  • It is spread over an area of 9.7 sq km.

India’s Maternal Mortality Rate Down By 22%



  • GS Prelims 2019, GS Mains paper II
  • Governance, women related issues, women health, Maternal Mortality Rate

Why in news?

  • The maternal mortality rate (MMR) , according to the sample registration system (SRS) data released by the office of Registrar General of India on 06th June, 2018 declined to 130 in 2014-16 from 167 in 2011-13.

What are the facts?

  • The maternal mortality rate (MMR) , according to the sample registration system (SRS) data released by the office of Registrar General of India on Wednesday declined to 130 in 2014-16 from 167 in 2011-13 — a significant improvement on a parameter widely used by analysts and developmental economists to rate a country’s progress.
  • The 22% reduction in MMR since 2013 means nearly one thousand fewer women now die of pregnancy-related complications each month in India.
  • Maternal mortality is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.
  • MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate) is defined as the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
  • The decline has been most significant in Empowered Action Group (EAG) states — Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand — and Assam, from 246 to 188.
  • The southern states are performing better than the rest of the country on MMR, with a decline from 93 to 77, close to the country’s target of 70 by 2030, under the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
  • While India has made sustained progress in reducing maternal mortality, it missed the millennium development goal (MDG) of reducing MMR by 75% from 437 in 1990 to 109 in 2015.

Why MMR is an issue in developing countries?

  • In developing countries such as India, maternal mortality is a huge public health issue.
  • Causes range from excessive blood loss (post-partum haemorrhage) to infections, primarily because women do not give birth in a hospital or health centre.
  • The major cause, post-partum haemorrhage is usually defined as the loss of more than 500-1,000 ml of blood within the first 24 hours following childbirth.

What are the reasons for the decline in MMR?

  • The Union health ministry is attributing this improvement mainly to rise in institutional deliveries across the country.
  • In India, the transport to and from the health facility is also free for pregnant women coming to government health facilities, ensuring no out of pocket expenditure for the women and their families.
  • Even sick newborns are treated free without any expense (including for diagnostics, drugs, consumables, diet, and transport).
  • Various schemes of the government like the umbrella scheme of NRHM (National Rural Health Mission) have contributed to this decline.
  • JSY (Janani Suraksha Yojana) under NRHM is a conditional cash transfer scheme to motivate pregnant women for institutional deliveries.
  • With JSY, institutional births doubled from 38.7% to 78.9% between National Family Health Survey III (2005-06) and NFHS IV.
  • A web-based Mother and Tracking System headquartered in the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, tracked every pregnancy in the country since 2010, sending out messages to health workers and expectant mothers about ante-natal checkups, vaccinations etc.
  • NRHM also allowed auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) to administer antibiotics, intravenous fluids and drugs during emergencies under supervision.
  • For Ceasarean sections, there are first referral units (FRUs).
  • Incentives are being given to the ASHA workers based on their frequency of visit to the expecting mothers.
  • There is nutritional support for the mother and the child through the Anganwadi workers.
  • Under the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) all pregnant women  are entitiled for free delivery in public health institutions, including C-sections.
  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, pregnant women can walk into private establishments on the 9th of the month.

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