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PRELIMS FACTS 20-06-2018

FACT # 1

National Testing Agency

 

Why in news? The National Testing Agency will train paper setters to set better question papers and provide better model answers in near future.

 

National Testing Agency:

  • NTA is registered as an autonomous testing organization.
  • It was approved and created by Union Cabinet in December, 2017.
  • National Testing Agency (NTA) as a Society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
  • NTA will be given a one-time grant of Rs.25 crore from the Government of India to start its operation in the first year.
  • Thereafter, it will be financially self-sustainable.

 

Constitution of NTA:

  • NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by MHRD.
  • The CEO will be the Director General to be appointed by the Government.
  • There will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions.
  • The Director General will be assisted by 9 verticals headed by academicians/ experts.

 

New Ruling:

  • NTA will take over all examinations from the CBSE, except the 10th and 12th board examinations.
  • Among the examinations that will be transferred to the NTA are the prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to engineering colleges like the IITs and NITs and the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to all medical colleges in the country, except AIIMS and JIPMER, Puducherry.

FACT # 2

Liberalised Remittances Scheme

 

Why in news? RBI has altered the ‘relative’ definition to check outward remittances.

 

Liberalised Remittances Scheme:

  • The Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) is a facility provided by the RBI for all resident individuals including minors to freely remit upto a certain amount in terms of US Dollar for current and capital account purposes or a combination of both.
  • The LRS was launched in 2004.
  • Under the LRS, individuals are allowed to spend money in foreign countries for specific purposes like education, tourism, asset purchase etc.
  • The remittance limit is set for a financial year.
  • Regulations for the scheme are provided under the FEMA Act 1999.
  • Under LRS, remittances can be made for overseas education, travel, medical treatment, apart from maintenance of relatives living abroad, gifting and donations.

 

Definition of ‘Relative’:

  • The definition of relatives in the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) has been narrowed to check the flow of funds by the RBI.
  • Now the funds under the ‘maintenance of close relative’ category can be sent only to immediate relatives such as parents, spouses, children and their spouses.
  • This has brought about by defining ‘relatives’ under the Companies Act, 2013 instead of the same act of 1956.
  • RBI has also introduced a system for daily reporting of individual transactions under the LRS by banks.
  • This enables banks to view remittances already made by an individual during the fiscal, thus improving monitoring and ensuring compliance.
  • Since the system uses the Permanent Account Number of the remitter to aggregate remitter-wise data, the central bank has made furnishing of PAN mandatory for such transactions.

FACT # 3

11th Report Of The Common Review Mission Of The National Health Mission

 

Why in news? The report released is based on latest data from Health Management Information System (HMIS) where states upload data on various parameters of NHM including sterilisations.

 

Vasectomy or male sterilization:

  • Vasectomy or male sterilisation is the process of cutting or tying the vas deferens which is the duct that carries the sperm from the testes to the urethra so that it cannot be released for fertilisation.
  • It is an easier process than female sterilisation or tubectomy which involves clamping or blocking the fallopian tubes so eggs do not reach the uterus.

 

Findings of the 11th report of the Common Review Mission of the National Health Mission:

  • National Health Mission report released recently has flagged the “uneven burden” women bear in family planning with latest data showing women account for more than 93 per cent of sterilisations in the country.
  • The report also found that male sterilisation services still remain inadequately available.
  • As per HMIS in 2017-18 (till October) of the total 14,73,418 sterilisation procedures only 6.8 % were male sterilisation while 93.1 % were female sterilisation.
  • This is a marginal improvement from earlier years when women accounted for 98 per cent of all sterilisation in the country.
  • Of the 41,41,502 sterilisations across India in 2015-16 under government programmes, 40,61,462 were tubectomies.
  • In 2014-15, out of 40,30,409 sterilisations, 39,52,043 were tubectomies.
  • Experts say the reluctance of Indian men to undergo sterilisation stems from history, social taboo and sheer logistical limitations.
  • Forced sterilisations during the Emergency have given the procedure a bad name, misinformation about it robbing men of their “strength” has made it a social taboo and the fact that there are no male health workers means these impressions cannot be corrected.
  • It is difficult for an ASHA worker in a village to talk to men about sterilisation.
  • Despite efforts to make male sterilisation more acceptable, non-scalpel vasectomy services are available in very few facilities and the uptake is “negligible” in all states.
  • In most states sterilisation services were offered in fixed places on fixed days.
  • The only exceptions are Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Manipur.
  • Also, 13 years after the health mission was launched, the out of pocket spend remains high.
  • Household out of pocket expenditure (OOPE) remains a major concern.
  • Despite the implementation of various schemes such as free drugs and diagnostics in government hospitals, instances of high OOPE were reported in most of the states visited.
  • Patient/beneficiary interactions during state visits show high OOPE on drugs for chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension in Assam and Uttar Pradesh; on diagnostics and lab tests in Telangana and Nagaland and informal payments to hospital staff for patient care and transportation in Uttar Pradesh.

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