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Govt sets a target to raise health services expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025:

On July 3, 2019, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan stated that the Government sets target is to raise health services expenditure to 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP(Gross domestic product) by 2025 due to the increment of expenditure over the last 10 years.

Key points:

  • Health policy: It is overarching the National Health Policy 2017 (NHP)which aims at increasing public spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025 &recommends State governments should spend more than 8 percent of their budget on the health sector by 2020.
  • Health centers: Under the Aayushman Bharat programme, the government proposes to set up 1.5 lakh (Of this 18,000-19,000 have already been established) health and wellness centers by 2022.
  • Health and education cess: To cater to the education and health needs of poor and rural families, the health and education cess on personal income tax and corporation tax are changed as 4% in place of 3%.
  • Funding Agency: Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has also started to support the infrastructure works of medical institutions.

West Bengal introduces free crop insurance scheme Bangla Shashya Bima for farmers:

  • West Bengal Government launched a crop insurance scheme, Bangla Shashya Bima (BSB).
  • The reason for the launch of 2019 `Kharif` season is to protect farmers from losses due to natural disasters.
  • Their main aim is to provide a steady income in case of unstable market prices. 
  • The scheme launched in collaboration with Agriculture Insurance Company of India (AIC).
  • The crop insurance scheme is "free of cost for farmers" as the state government would pay the entire premium.
  • The crops include Aman and Aus paddy, jute and maize under the scheme. 
  • This scheme is applicable for farmers in 15 districts.
  • Those districts include Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim aardhaman, Purba Medinipur, Malda, Hooghly, Nadia, Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Birbhum, Purulia, Dakshin Dinajpur, North 24 Parganas, and South 24 Parganas. 
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Telangana hosts the triennial International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) Congress in Hyderabad:

Telangana is hosting the triennial International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) Congress in Hyderabad. ISTA congress is being held for the first time in Asia. The Congress is being held from 26 June to 3 July 2019. 

ISTA Congress meet:

Congress will have the main event for three days and technical committee meetings/sessions over the next 5 days. The Congress will have a symposium on seed technology and quality in a changing world. It would discuss recent developments in seed research and in technology related to seeds.

Workshop: The workshops would focus on varietal identification, seed sampling, Purity, germination and moisture. The latter workshop will held from July 5 to 12. 

Participants:

400 experts, policymakers, scientists, researchers and members of seed industry from more than 80 countries including the UK, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, Canada and Austria, will deliberate on seed policies, production and quality aspects.

Telangana: 

Telangana is major hub of seed production as it meets about 60% of the country`s needs in major crops like rice, soybean, sorghum, maize, pearl millet and cotton.

Telangana, over 400 seed companies are operating with 413 seed processing and 13 seed testing units and about 2.5 lakh farmers in 1,500 villages are engaged in seed production in 3 lakh acres and produce about 65,000 tonnes seed of various crops.

ISTA:

ISTA was formed in 1924 during the 4th International Seed Testing Congress held in  Cambridge United Kingdom. 

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`One nation one ration card` scheme from July 1, 2020:

  • `One Nation One Ration Card` scheme, which will allow portability of food security benefits, will be available across the country from July 1, 2020.
  • This means poor migrant workers will be able to buy subsidised rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country, so long as their ration cards are linked to Aadhaar.
  • All the States have been given one more year to use point of sale (PoS) machines in the ration shops and implement the scheme.
  • Already, 77% of the ration shops across the country have PoS machines and more than 85% of people covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) have their cards linked to Aadhaar.

Rajya Sabha passes J&K Quota Bill, extends President’s rule:

The Rajya Sabha passed Jammu and Kashmir reservation bill on July 1, 2019 also extends President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir. This bill provides 3% reservation for people in the State living near the international border (LOC).

Home Minister Amit Shah replied to the debate on the motion and the bill that Centre government has no objection to hold Assembly elections in the State. He said security forces have raised certain concerns and he hoped that the Election Commission will take a decision at the earliest.

What is J&K Quota Bill:

•The Bill, which replaces the Jammu and Kashmir (Reservation) Amendment Ordinance 2019 issued on March 1, provides for amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 to bring persons residing in the areas adjoining International Border within the ambit of reservation at par with persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control (ALoC).

•Earlier, the provision of 3% reservation was available only for youth living within 6 kms of LoC in J&K. Now, this provision will be applicable for people living near the international border also. 

•This has been a long-pending demand of the population living near the international border, as they have been facing the brunt of cross border firing in J&K.

 

•The Bill and the resolution now await the assent of President Ram Nath Kovind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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