National News-Daily Digest: 4 Key Updates
1. Interlocutor’s letter ended Nagaland poll impasse
A letter written by the Centre’s interlocutor R.N. Ravi to the Naga groups, including the NSCN (Isak-Muivah), on February 3 helped to end the impasse over the Nagaland Assembly elections. Civil society groups and the NSCN(I-M) had called a boycott of the elections till a political solution was reached.Mr. Ravi assured the groups that the new Assembly would not come in the way of the final agreement.
The Election Commission announced the poll schedule on January 19. The poll process started on January 31. February 7 was the last date for nominations. No nomination was filed till February 5.
The Centre has assured the groups that the Assembly will be dissolved as and when the agreement is signed.
The NSCN(IM) has been fighting for creation of ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim by extending the State’s borders to cover the Naga-dominated areas in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, uniting 1.2 million Nagas. Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, all under the BJP, have refused to part with any land. The Centre is yet to spell out the details of the agreement.
The final accord was ready and the Centre proposed an auxiliary battalion for the NSCN(IM) cadre living in a camp at Hebron. They would also be asked to lay down their weapons.
On August 3, 2015, Mr. Ravi signed a “framework agreement” on behalf of the Union government with the NSCN(IM) to end the decades-old insurgency. It was signed at the residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
2. Maharashtra’s Tribal areas to soon get bike ambulances
The bike ambulance service, which was started in Mumbai in August last year to provide swift medical assistance to patients, has so far received around 1,500 calls from different parts of the metropolis. It is difficult for a four-wheeler ambulance to go to hilly regions or reach the areas with narrow roads. But bike ambulances can reach such places easily. Therefore, this service will be operated] in inaccessible places in Jawhar, Mokhada, Nandurbar and Melghat regions.
The emergency first responder service is available through the ‘108’ helpline. Paramedics ride the bikes to provide treatment to patients during the golden hour. The 10-bike fleet is operated by integrated services company BVG India.
3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a project for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a project for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, describing it as a “catalytic agent” of humanity and harmony that would become a medium of India’s identity.
He laid the foundation stone for the Swaminarayan temple of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha through videoconferencing from the Dubai Opera House, where he addressed the members of the Indian community.
The temple will come up on 55,000 square metres of land. The structure will be hand-carved by Indian artisans and assembled in the UAE. It will be completed by 2020 and open to people of all religious backgrounds. It will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in West Asia. The socio-spiritual Hindu organisation was set up in 1907. It runs over 1,100 temples and cultural centres around the world. The temple will be a replica of the one in New Delhi and another under construction in New Jersey.
4. Ministries may discuss govt. healthcare plan this month
The Ministries of Finance and Health will hold first meeting this month on National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) to discuss the modalities of its implementation, including whether to rope in insurance firms or set up a trust to settle claims. The scheme, which would be the world’s largest government healthcare programme, was announced in 2018-19 Budget for providing medical cover of up to ₹5 lakh to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, constituting 40% of India’s total population.
Certain States are already successfully running healthcare schemes using trust-based model. Under this model, a trust will be set up by the government with funds being contributed by the Centre and States, which will settle hospital claims of beneficiaries, instead of the insurers.
The Health Ministry will draft the scheme, which is likely to be unveiled either on August 15 or October 2, after consultation with States. There are States which run schemes for specific illnesses and it would be discussed how to streamline those along with NHPS.