The Gist of Press Information Bureau (PIB): March 2017

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The Gist of Press Information Bureau: March 2017


Swasthya Raksha Programme

Swasthya Rakshan Program has been initiated through Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) in selected districts/ villages with the following aims and objectives:-

  • To organize Swasthya Rakshan OPDs, Swasthya Parikshan Camps and Health/Hygiene awareness programme
  • Awareness about cleanliness of domestic surroundings and environment.
  • Provide medical aid/incidental support in the adopted Colonies/villages.
  • Documentation of demographic information, food habits, hygiene conditions, seasons, lifestyle etc., incidence/prevalence of disease and their relation to the incidence of disease.
  • Assessment of health status and propagation of Ayurvedic concept of pathya-apathya and extension of health care services.

Initiatives undertaken so far:

  • Developed IEC material (Banners, hoardings, posters, handouts) in Hindi, English and 07 regional languages.
  • Swasthya Rakshan OPDs organized in each village on weekly basis for providing treatment for various disease conditions.
  • Swasthya Parikshan Camps organized on weekly basis.
  • Survey is undertaken in the identified villages to identify prevalent diseases. Individual Health screening of people have been done.
  • For Health Promotion and health education, mass campaigning through rallies, Nukkad Nataks focussing on personal, environmental and social hygiene are being for creating awareness about hygiene.

Indigenously Developed Sonars

The Government has formally inducted four types of indigenously developed SONARS that will boost its underwater surveillance capability recently. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed many systems for Indian Navy. Some of the major systems are Heavy Weight Torpedo (Varunastra), Advanced Torpedo Defence System (Mareech), Multi Influence Ground Mines, etc. Recently, on 18th November 2016, Kochi based Naval Physical Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO, has handed over the following four naval systems to Indian Navy:-

  • Abhay (Compact Hull-Mounted Sonar for Small Ships & Shallow Water Crafts): Induction of Abhay (by replacing the vintage Russian sonar) enables indigenous sonar system to be installed on small ships, thereby enhancing the ASW surveillance capability of the fleet to smaller vessel, like Shallows Water Crafts, Light Frigates & Patrol Vessels, which was hitherto limited to frigates and destroyers.

  • HUMSA-UG (Upgrade for the Hull-Mounted Sonar Array (HUMSA) Series of Sonar Systems for Ships): It enables smooth upgrade of the capabilities of the indigenously-developed legacy Sonar System HUMSA, by drastically minimizing the existing hardware and addressing technology obsolescence issues, which is currently operational on-board on 18 ships.

  • NACS (Near-field Acoustic Characterization System (NACS) for Ship Sonars): It provides a simple and operationally efficient means to determine the frequency-dependent 3-D transmission and reception characteristics of the hull-mounted sonar aiding in the optimum performance and maintenance of the sonar.

  • AIDSS (Advanced Indigenous Distress Sonar System (AIDSS) for Submarines): It is used to signal that a submarine is in distress and thereby enable quick rescue and salvage. It is a life-saving alarm system designed to transmit sonar signals of pre-designated frequency and pulse shape in an emergency situation, so as to attract the attention of Rescue Vessel in the vicinity.

The extent to which capability of the Indian Navy will get a boost with the induction of these systems are:

Three systems of Abhay are slated for installation on the Abhay Class of Ships. 7 systems of HUMSA-UG are proposed for installation on the Teg Class G- Class and R-Class ships. 4 systems of NACS are proposed for the Kolkata Class of Ships. 9 systems of AIDSS are planned for the Sindhu Class Submarines (EKM Submarines). Induction of these Systems will increase the underwater surveillance capability of Indian Naval ships. All these Systems are to be productionised in India.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill - 2016

The Lok Sabha today passed "The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill - 2016". The Bill will replace the existing PwD Act, 1995, which was enacted 21 years back. The Rajya Sabha has already passed the Bill on 14.12.2016.

The salient features of the Bill are:

i. Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
ii. The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities. The 21 disabilities are given below:-

1. Blindness
2. Low-vision
3. Leprosy Cured persons
4. Hearing Impairment (deaf and hard of hearing)
5. Locomotor Disability
6. Dwarfism
7. Intellectual Disability
8. Mental Illness
9. Autism Spectrum Disorder
10. Cerebral Palsy
11. Muscular Dystrophy
12. Chronic Neurological conditions
13. Specific Learning Disabilities
14. Multiple Sclerosis
15. Speech and Language disability
16. Thalassemia
17. Hemophilia
18. Sickle Cell disease
19. Multiple Disabilities including deafblindness
20. Acid Attack victim
21. Parkinson's disease

iii. Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time. Acid Attack Victims have been included. Dwarfism, muscular dystrophy have has been indicated as separate class of specified disability. The New categories of disabilities also included three blood disorders, Thalassemia, Hemophilia and Sickle Cell disease.

iv. In addition, the Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.

v. Responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.

vi. Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education, government jobs, reservation in allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs.

vii. Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.

viii. Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.

ix. For strengthening the Prime Minister's Accessible India Campaign, stress has been given to ensure accessibility in public buildings (both Government and private) in a prescribed time-frame.

x. Reservation in vacancies in government establishments has been increased from 3% to 4% for certain persons or class of persons with benchmark disability.

xi. The Bill provides for grant of guardianship by District Court under which there will be joint decision - making between the guardian and the persons with disabilities.

xii. Broad based Central & State Advisory Boards on Disability are to be set up to serve as apex policy making bodies at the Central and State level.

xiii. Office of Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities has been strengthened who will now be assisted by 2 Commissioners and an Advisory Committee comprising of not more than 11 members drawn from experts in various disabilities.

xiv. Similarly, the office of State Commissioners of Disabilities has been strengthened who will be assisted by an Advisory Committee comprising of not more than 5 members drawn from experts in various disabilities.

xv. The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the State Commissioners will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal agencies and also monitor implementation of the Act.

xvi. District level committees will be constituted by the State Governments to address local concerns of PwDs. Details of their constitution and the functions of such committees would be prescribed by the State Governments in the rules.

xvii. Creation of National and State Fund will be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities. The existing National Fund for Persons with Disabilities and the Trust Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will be subsumed with the National Fund.

xviii. The Bill provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also violation of the provisions of the new law.

xix. Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.

The New Act will bring our law in line with the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory. This will fulfill the obligations on the part of India in terms of UNCRD. Further, the new law will not only enhance the Rights and Entitlements of Divyangjan but also provide effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and true inclusion into the Society in a satisfactory manner.

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