1)Central Government Health Scheme

Recently, the Health Ministry announced that it has revised the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) package rates for all CGHS beneficiaries and simplified the referral process under CGHS for the benefit of its employees by offering a video call facility.

The Central government has increased the CGHS rates of consultation fee for out-patient department (OPD)/in-patient department (IPD) to ₹350 from ₹150. Similarly, ICU charges have been revised to ₹5,400.

Recent Changes Made in CGHS

Health care cost:

The revision of CGHS package rates, including the increase in consultation fees, ICU charges, and room rent, is likely to result in increased healthcare costs for beneficiaries. While the revised rates are aimed at covering the rising costs of healthcare services, the move may affect the affordability of healthcare for some.

Access to healthcare service

The introduction of the video call referral process is expected to improve access to healthcare services under the CGHS, particularly for those who find it difficult to visit the Wellness Centre in person. It is also anticipated that this simplified process will enhance the efficiency of the CGHS by reducing delays and inconvenience for beneficiaries.

2)Govt launches initiative to enhance country’s preparedness to potential animal pandemics

Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala on Friday launched the Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative to address animal pandemics in a holistic manner. This initiative aims at enhancing the country’s preparedness and response to animal pandemics, with a focus on zoonotic diseases that pose a threat to both animal and human health. It will also help to improve veterinary services and infrastructure, disease surveillance capabilities and awareness among farmers through community outreach. Mr Rupala also launched World Bank-funded Animal Health System Support for One Health, which aims at creating an ecosystem for a better animal health management system covering five states.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rupala said, India is home to a diverse animal species and the livestock sector plays a critical role in the country’s economy and food security. He said, the Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative is a proactive step to protect the animal resources and ensure the safety and health of the people.


TN CM launches YouTube stream of Assembly proceedings in sign language

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday launched an initiative to broadcast Assembly proceedings in sign language on YouTube and on TV channels for the benefit of people with hearing impairments.

In the presence of Assembly Speaker M Appavu, Stalin launched the initiative, and it was translated in sign language by sign language interpreters. Assembly proceedings (compilations) would now be explained in sign language and streamed on YouTube and also be telecast on television channels.

The initiative of the Department for the Welfare of Differently-Abled Persons under Stalin was launched at the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Secretariat. Ministers and top officials participated.


DRDO Industry Academia Centre of Excellence inaugurated at IIT Hyderabad
The inauguration of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Industry Academia Centre of Excellence (DIA-CoE) took place at the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad, making it the largest facility of its kind in the country.

DRDO Chairman, Dr Samir V Kamat, inaugurated the facility at the IIT-Hyderabad campus in Telangana, and stated that the centre will take on futuristic projects for long-term research needed by DRDO.

He also highlighted that the DIA-CoE IITH is the largest among all 15 CoEs in the country, and the DRDO team will collaborate with IIT-H to identify target projects in each domain and execute them within a period of 3-5 years.


Freedom House Index

US government-funded non-profit organization ‘Freedom House’ released its annual report titled ‘Freedom of the World 2023’. India has been ranked a “partly free” country for the third year in a row.

The report also states that democracy in India is “losing ground”. It uses surveys and analyses to tabulate indices around freedom and human rights.

Tibet along with South Sudan and Syria ranked as world’s least free country in the index.

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