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Current Affairs 10 August 2023


  1. Small Modular Nuclear Reactors
  2. National Social Assistance Programme
  3. Central Armed Police Force
  4. Organ Donation in India
  5. State of Elementary Education in Rural India – 2023 
  6. Medium Term Expenditure Framework
  7. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors


The world’s quest to decarbonise is guided by the UN SDG 7: “to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. Small modular reactors – a type of nuclear reactor – can be helpful to India in this regard. 


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Challenges of Decarbonisation
  2. Issues with Nuclear Power and Alternative
  3. Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)
  4. Challenges for India

Challenges of Decarbonisation:

  • Fossil Fuel Dependence: The global energy supply still heavily relies on fossil fuels, accounting for 82% of the total. This poses a challenge in transitioning to cleaner energy sources.
  • Electricity Demand: The share of electricity in final energy consumption is expected to rise significantly (80-150%) by 2050, which highlights the need for reliable and sustainable power sources.
  • Coal Consumption: Despite the growth of solar and wind power, there has been a recent increase in coal consumption in Europe. Ensuring consistent and reliable electricity resources is crucial for achieving deep decarbonisation in power generation.
  • Critical Minerals Demand: Clean-energy production technologies require critical minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and rare earth elements. The demand for these minerals is projected to surge by up to 3.5 times by 2030, leading to environmental and social challenges associated with mining and processing.
  • Global Mineral Control: A small number of nations control a significant portion (50-100%) of global extraction and processing capacities for critical minerals. This concentration poses geopolitical and supply chain risks.

Issues with Nuclear Power and Alternative:

  • Nuclear Power Benefits: Nuclear power plants (NPPs) contribute 10% of global electricity and help mitigate 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. They offer consistent power generation, unlike variable renewable energy sources.
  • Grid Integration Costs: NPPs have lower grid integration costs compared to variable renewable energy sources due to their continuous power generation regardless of weather conditions.
  • Co-Benefits: Nuclear power provides high-skill job opportunities in technology, manufacturing, and operations, contributing to economic growth.
  • Challenges with Conventional NPPs: Conventional NPPs have faced challenges such as time and cost overruns, as well as the risk of nuclear accidents, exemplified by the Fukushima incident in Japan.
  • Small Modular Reactors (SMRs): Some countries are exploring small modular reactors as an alternative. These compact reactors offer potential benefits in terms of cost, safety, and scalability.

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are advanced nuclear reactors designed to have a smaller power capacity compared to traditional nuclear power reactors. Here are the key characteristics, advantages, safety features, and disadvantages of SMRs:

  • Small: SMRs have a power capacity of up to 300 MW per unit, which is about one-third of the generating capacity of conventional nuclear reactors.
  • Modular: SMRs are designed to be modular and portable. Components can be factory-assembled and transported as units to installation sites.
  • Reactors: SMRs use nuclear fission to generate heat for electricity production.
  • Efficiency: SMRs are designed for high capacity factors (exceeding 90%) and can produce a significant amount of low-carbon electricity.
  • Hybrid Energy Systems: SMRs can complement renewable energy sources by providing consistent power, enhancing overall system efficiency.
  • Off-Site Manufacturing: Factory assembly of components saves construction time and reduces costs.
  • Lower Costs: SMRs are designed for cost-effectiveness, requiring less fuel and fewer staff for assembly, maintenance, and operation.
  • Flexibility: SMRs can adjust electricity generation based on demand, making them suitable for remote locations.
  • Site Repurposing: SMRs can be installed in existing thermal power plant sites by repurposing infrastructure.
Safety Features:
  • Reduced Risk: SMRs are designed with lower core damage frequency and radioactive contamination compared to conventional nuclear power plants (NPPs).
  • Enhanced Seismic Isolation: SMRs incorporate advanced seismic isolation techniques for improved safety during earthquakes.
  • Passive Safety: SMRs feature passive safety systems, minimizing the potential release of radioactive materials.
  • Lack of Development: SMRs are not yet widely deployed for power generation.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Achieving economic benefits depends on large-scale production and deployment.
  • Licensing Challenges: The licensing process for new SMR designs can be lengthy and costly, as it was historically developed for large commercial reactors.

Challenges for India:

India faces several challenges in its energy sector as it strives to balance its energy needs, environmental commitments, and economic growth. Some of the key challenges include:

Carbon Emissions and Net-Zero Commitment:

  • India’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070 poses a significant challenge, requiring a major shift away from fossil fuels.
  • The reliance on coal-based thermal power plants (TPPs) for electricity generation contributes to carbon emissions and air pollution.

Energy Transition and Diversification:

  • Balancing the transition towards cleaner energy sources while meeting growing energy demands is a complex task.
  • India needs to diversify its energy mix by increasing the share of renewable energy sources (VRE), nuclear power, and other low-carbon options.

Scaling Up Nuclear Power:

  • India’s nuclear power output needs to increase substantially to meet its clean energy goals and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Developing and deploying new nuclear power plants, including Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), requires significant investments, technological advancements, and regulatory approvals.

Energy Security and Reliability:

  • While integrating more variable renewable energy sources (VRE) like solar and wind is crucial, ensuring grid stability and energy security is challenging due to their intermittent nature.
  • Balancing the grid and ensuring reliable power supply during peak demand periods remains a priority.

Infrastructure and Investment:

  • Scaling up renewable energy and nuclear power requires substantial investments in infrastructure, technology, and skilled workforce.
  • Attracting private investments, both domestic and foreign, is essential for the development of these sectors.

Policy and Regulatory Framework:

  • Clear and consistent policies and regulations are needed to incentivize investments in renewable energy and nuclear power.
  • Streamlining permitting and approval processes can accelerate project implementation.

Public Acceptance and Safety Concerns:

  • Expanding nuclear power faces challenges related to public acceptance, safety concerns, and waste management.
  • Addressing these concerns and ensuring the highest safety standards are crucial for building public confidence.

Technological Advancements:

  • Advancements in energy storage, grid management, and nuclear technology are essential for optimizing renewable energy integration and enhancing nuclear safety.

International Collaboration:

  • Collaborating with international partners can provide India with access to advanced technologies, expertise, and best practices in renewable energy and nuclear power.

-Source: The Hindu

National Social Assistance Programme


The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) diverted funds from the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) for publicising some of its other schemes. This was highlighted by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s (CAG) performance audit of the NSAP from 2017-18 to 2020-21, tabled in the Lok Sabha recently.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
  2. Performance of NSAP

National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)

  • The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 1995 by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India.
  • It aims to provide financial assistance to individuals below the poverty line (BPL) who belong to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, widows, persons with disabilities, and bereaved families.
  • The scheme provides social pensions to help fulfill the Directive Principles of the Indian Constitution, particularly Article 41, which calls for public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness, disability, etc., within the country’s economic capacity and development.
Components of NSAP:

Originally, NSAP had three components:

  • National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS): Provides monthly pension to individuals aged 60 and above. The pension amount is Rs 200 per month for those between 60-79 years and Rs 500 per month for those aged 80 and above.
  • National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): Offers a lump sum amount of Rs 20,000 to bereaved households in case of the death of the primary breadwinner.
  • Annapurna Scheme: Distributes 10 kgs of food grains (wheat or rice) per month to eligible elderly individuals who are not covered by the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS).
In 2009, two additional schemes were added:
  • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): Provides a monthly pension of Rs 300 to eligible widows aged 40 and above. The pension amount increases to Rs 500 per month after the beneficiary reaches 80 years of age.
  • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): Offers a monthly pension of Rs 300 to disabled individuals aged 18 and above with a disability level of 80%. The pension amount increases to Rs 500 per month after the beneficiary reaches 80 years of age.
Performance of NSAP:
  • According to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, around 4.65 crore beneficiaries availed the various pension schemes and family benefits annually between 2017 and 2021.
  • The central government released an average of Rs 8,608 crore per year during this period, and states and Union Territories allocated an average of Rs 27,393 crore per year for pension and family benefit.
  • The NSAP plays a vital role in providing social and financial support to vulnerable sections of society and contributes to their well-being and economic security.

-Source: The Hindu

Central Armed Police Force


According to data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to Parliament recently, 432 personnel of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) died by suicide in the last three years.


GS III: Security Challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Central Armed Police Force (CAPF)
  2. Classification of CAPF
  3. Challenges Faced by CAPF in India and Suggestions

Central Armed Police Force (CAPF)

  • Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) is the collective term for central police organizations in India operating under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • These forces are responsible for maintaining internal security, guarding borders, and other critical tasks within the country.

Evolution of Terminology:

  • Formerly known as “Central Para-Military Forces (CPMF),” the term “Central Armed Police Forces” was adopted in 2011 to better reflect their roles and responsibilities.
  • This change aimed to emphasize their paramilitary nature and the vital role they play in ensuring national security.


  • CAPF is entrusted with a range of duties, including maintaining law and order, counterinsurgency operations, disaster response, and guarding sensitive installations.
  • They serve as a crucial component of India’s security infrastructure.

Classification of CAPF:

CAPF consists of seven distinct security forces, each with its own specialization and operational jurisdiction:

  • Assam Rifles (AR): Responsible for border security, counter-insurgency operations, and maintaining law and order in Northeast India, particularly along the Indo-Myanmar border.
  • Border Security Force (BSF): Guards India’s borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, ensuring border security and managing cross-border threats.
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): Provides integrated security cover to vital infrastructure facilities like airports, nuclear installations, and power plants.
  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF): Assists state governments in maintaining law and order, counterinsurgency operations, and disaster response. Houses specialized units like the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA).
  • Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP): Guards the challenging Indo-China border, focusing on mountain warfare and border management.
  • National Security Guard (NSG): An elite counter-terrorism unit established after Operation Blue Star, specializing in combating terrorist activities and protecting against internal disturbances.
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB): Guards India’s borders with Nepal and Bhutan, preventing cross-border threats and promoting border security.
Leadership and Structure:
  • While each CAPF has its own cadre of officers, they are headed by officers of the Indian Police Service (IPS), ensuring effective coordination and command.
  • Central Armed Police Forces play a critical role in maintaining national security, protecting borders, and responding to various security challenges.
  • They contribute significantly to India’s defense and internal stability, reflecting their dedication and commitment to the country’s safety.

Challenges Faced by CAPF in India and Suggestions:

Deployment of CAPFs:
  • Challenge: Heavy dependence of states on CAPFs for everyday law and order issues, impacting anti-insurgency and border guarding operations.
  • Recommendation: States should develop their own systems, enhance their police forces with proper training and equipment.
Training of CAPFs:
  • Challenge: States heavily rely on CAPFs for law and order, affecting their specialized training needs.
  • Recommendation: States must build their police forces’ capacity through training and equipment to ensure effective anti-insurgency and border guarding operations.
Modernizing of CAPFs:
  • Challenge: Cumbersome and time-consuming procurement process under Modernization Plan II (2012-17) for arms, clothing, and equipment.
  • Recommendation: Identify bottlenecks in procurement and take corrective action. Collaborate with manufacturers in public or private sector to ensure a steady supply.
Stress among CAPF Personnel:
  • Challenge: High suicide rates among CAPF personnel due to personal, domestic, family, and work-related issues.
  • Recommendation: Provide accommodation near deployment areas for personnel to be closer to their families, addressing mental health concerns.
Youth Engagement in Jammu & Kashmir:
  • Challenge: Need to engage youth in Jammu and Kashmir and integrate them into the mainstream.
  • Recommendation: Evaluate the impact of government schemes like Udaan and Himayat aimed at increasing employability of youth in the region.

-Source: The Times of India

Organ Donation in India


Recently, the critical shortage of organ donations, particularly deceased donations, has led to a dire situation in India, with thousands of patients waiting for transplants and a significant number losing their lives daily.


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Organ Donation Landscape in India: Key Points and Disparities
  2. Challenges in Organ Donation: Key Issues and Concerns
  3. Key Highlights of New National Organ Transplantation Guidelines

Organ Donation Landscape in India: Key Points and Disparities

Demand and Supply Gap:

  • Over 300,000 patients await organ donations in India, but supply falls short.
  • Shortage leads to approximately 20 deaths daily among those awaiting transplants.

Slow Growth in Donors:

  • Donor numbers (living and deceased) have increased gradually over years.
  • From 6,916 donors in 2014, the count reached around 16,041 in 2022.

Low Deceased Organ Donation Rate:

  • India’s deceased organ donation rate remains consistently below one donor per million population.
  • Urgent efforts needed to raise this rate, unlike countries like Spain and the U.S. with higher rates.

Dominance of Living Donors:

  • Living donors make up 85% of all donors in India.
  • Deceased organ donations, especially for kidneys, liver, and heart, remain notably low.

State-Level Disparities:

  • Varied organ donation rates across Indian states.
  • States like Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Maharashtra have higher deceased organ donors.
  • Delhi-NCR, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, and West Bengal prominent for living donors.

Kidney Transplantation Disparity:

  • Demand for 200,000 kidney transplants annually greatly exceeds the supply of around 10,000 transplants.
  • A substantial gap exists in kidney transplantation in India.

Challenges in Organ Donation: Key Issues and Concerns

Awareness and Education:

  • Limited public awareness about organ donation and its significance.
  • Insufficient education among medical professionals in identifying potential donors and guiding families.

Family Reluctance:

  • Reluctance of families to give consent for organ donation, even if the deceased had expressed willingness.
  • Emotional and ethical dilemmas faced by families during organ donation decisions.

Illegal Organ Trafficking:

  • Existence of a black market for organs and illegal organ trafficking.
  • Criminal activities exploiting organ demand and undermining legitimate donation processes.

Matching Donors and Recipients:

  • Challenges in matching suitable donors and recipients based on medical compatibility.
  • Limited availability of compatible organs leading to extended waiting times for patients.

Ethical Considerations:

  • Debates on offering financial incentives to organ donors and the ethical implications.
  • Balancing the need for increased donations while maintaining ethical practices.

Infrastructure and Resources:

  • Inadequate infrastructure and resources for organ retrieval, preservation, and transplantation.
  • Challenges in timely transportation of organs across regions.

Key Highlights of New National Organ Transplantation Guidelines

Removal of Age Cap:

  • Elimination of age limit for organ recipients.
  • Improved life expectancy has led to the removal of the previous age restriction.
  • NOTTO guidelines no longer prohibit patients above 65 years from registering for organ transplants.

No Domicile Requirement:

  • Waiver of domicile requirement for organ recipient registration.
  • Implementation of a ‘One Nation, One Policy’ approach.
  • Patients can now register for organ transplants in any state, regardless of their place of residence.

No Registration Fees:

  • Removal of registration fees for organ recipient registration.
  • Several states, including Gujarat, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Kerala, have ceased charging fees for patient registration.

-Source: The Hindu

State of Elementary Education in Rural India – 2023 


Recently, the Ministry of Education has released the State of Elementary Education in Rural India – 2023 report, highlighting the Prevalence of Smartphone Usage among students.


GS II: Education

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. State of Elementary Education in Rural India – 2023 Report
  2. Key Findings of the Survey
  3. Recommendations

State of Elementary Education in Rural India – 2023 Report

  • Released by the Ministry of Education.
  • Highlights the state of elementary education in rural India in 2023.
  • Focuses on the prevalence of smartphone usage among students.

Survey Conducted by Development Intelligence Unit (DIU):

  • The survey was conducted by the Development Intelligence Unit (DIU).
  • DIU is a collaboration between NGO Transform Rural India and Sambodhi Research and Communications.

Scope of the Survey:

  • The survey gathered responses from 6,229 parents.
  • Participants were parents of schoolchildren aged 6–16.
  • Responses were collected from rural communities across 21 States in India.

Key Findings of the Survey:

Smartphone Usage Patterns:

  • 49.3% of students in rural areas have access to smartphones.
  • 76.7% of parents indicated that their children use smartphones primarily for playing video games.
  • 56.6% of students use smartphones to download and watch movies.
  • 47.3% of students use smartphones to download and listen to music.
  • Only 34% of students use smartphones for study-related downloads, and 18% access online learning via tutorials.

Smartphone Access by Class Levels:

  • Students in higher classes (Class VIII and above) have greater smartphone access (58.32%).
  • Younger students (Classes I–III) also show significant smartphone access (42.1%).
  • Entertainment usage of smartphones is prevalent across age groups.

Parental Engagement and Aspirations:

  • 78% of parents aspire for their children to attain graduation-level education or above.
  • 40% of parents have daily conversations with their children about school learning.
  • 32% engage in such conversations a few days a week.

Reasons for Dropout:

  • For girls, 36.8% of parents mentioned contributing to family earnings as a reason for dropout.
  • 31.6% attributed dropout to lack of interest in studies for girls, while 21.1% cited household responsibilities.
  • For boys, the primary reason for dropout was a lack of interest in studies (71.8%), followed by the need to contribute to family earnings (48.7%).

Attendance and Learning Resources:

  • 84% of parents reported regular attendance.
  • Main reasons for non-attendance: short notice and lack of willingness.
  • 40% of parents reported availability of age-appropriate reading materials other than textbooks.


  • Promote a balanced use of smartphones for entertainment and learning.
  • Enhance the educational environment at home.
  • Focus on increasing parental engagement.
  • Provide additional learning resources and materials.
  • Address factors leading to dropout, particularly for girls and boys contributing to family earnings.
  • Targeted efforts to bridge the gap between parental aspirations and engagement.

-Source: The Hindu

Medium Term Expenditure Framework


Recently, the Ministry of Finance has conveyed its inability to release the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) statement, mandated by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act of 2003.


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)
  2. Why is the Ministry of Finance Unable to Release MTEF?
  3. Fiscal Responsibility and Management Act

Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF):

The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) is a fiscal planning tool used by the government to set expenditure targets and estimates for a period of three years. It serves as a link between fiscal policy, budget formulation, and long-term fiscal sustainability. Here are the key aspects of the MTEF:

Purpose and Presentation:
  • The MTEF statement establishes a three-year rolling target for expenditure indicators, along with underlying assumptions and associated risks.
  • Presented in Parliament under Section 3 of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003.
  • Provides estimates of expenditure across various sectors, such as education, health, rural development, energy, subsidies, pensions, and more.
Timing and Presentation:
  • Presented in the session following the presentation of the Union Budget, typically during the monsoon session.
  • Offers a comprehensive overview of expenditure commitments and allocation strategies for the upcoming years.
Inclusions in MTEF:
  • Incorporates data related to expenditure commitments across central ministries, including salaries, pensions, major programs, grants-in-aid for capital asset creation, defense spending, interest payments, major subsidies, and other government commitments.
  • The primary goal of the MTEF is to establish a closer integration between the fiscal responsibility targets outlined in the FRBM Act and the actual allocation of funds through the Union Budget.
  • Aims to ensure consistency, transparency, and accountability in fiscal planning and expenditure management over the medium term.

Why is the Ministry of Finance Unable to Release MTEF?

The Ministry of Finance is unable to release the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) due to several reasons related to the current global and economic circumstances. Here are the key factors contributing to the delay in releasing the MTEF:

Unchanged Global Headwinds and Risks:

  • The global economic conditions and associated risks have not witnessed significant and favorable changes since the presentation of the Union Budget for FY 2023-24 in February.

Infeasible Medium-Term Projections:

  • Given the persistent global uncertainties and challenges, the Ministry of Finance has found it challenging to establish medium-term projections that are considered feasible and accurate.

Flexibility in Fiscal Management:

  • The Finance Ministry recognizes the importance of maintaining flexibility in fiscal management.
  • This flexibility allows the government to effectively respond to unexpected external shocks and uncertainties that may arise in the global economic landscape.

Fiscal Firepower for Contingencies:

  • Retaining fiscal firepower is crucial for the government to address unforeseen contingencies that might emerge during periods of economic ambiguity.
  • The ability to allocate resources in response to unforeseen challenges is seen as a priority.

Exogenous Shocks and Economic Ambiguity:

  • The current global economic environment is characterized by exogenous shocks and uncertainties.
  • The Finance Ministry acknowledges the need to navigate these challenges effectively while ensuring prudent fiscal management.

Fiscal Responsibility and Management Act

The Fiscal Responsibility and Management Act (FRBM) is a parliamentary act enacted in 2003 to ensure fiscal discipline, transparency, and accountability in government spending. It aims to control deficits and manage fiscal policies effectively. Here are the key provisions and components of the FRBM Act:

Fiscal Deficit Targets:

  • The act mandates the government to gradually reduce the fiscal deficit over time. It sets specific targets for reducing fiscal deficit, with the aim of ultimately achieving a prudent level of deficit.
  • The fiscal deficit is the difference between the government’s total expenditure and its total revenue.

Elimination of Revenue Deficit:

  • The act requires the government to eliminate revenue deficit, which is the excess of total expenditure over total revenue.
  • This ensures that the government’s regular expenses are covered by its regular income.

Limit on Fiscal Deficit:

  • The FRBM Act initially limited the fiscal deficit to 3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This served as a cap to control excessive borrowing and ensure fiscal sustainability.

Medium-term Fiscal Strategy:

  • The act requires the government to create and execute a medium-term fiscal strategy that outlines plans for reducing fiscal deficit over a three-year period. This provides a roadmap for achieving fiscal consolidation.

Annual Fiscal Reports:

  • The government is obligated to present an annual fiscal responsibility statement to Parliament, detailing progress made in achieving fiscal targets and consolidation.

Macro-Economic Framework Statement:

  • This statement presents macroeconomic assumptions forming the basis of budget estimates.
  • It includes key economic indicators and projections that influence revenue and expenditure decisions.

Medium-Term Fiscal Policy Statement:

  • This statement outlines the government’s medium-term fiscal policy objectives and strategies for the next three years. It aligns fiscal targets with broader economic goals.

-Source: The Hindu

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana


The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has highlighted irregularities in registration and validation of beneficiaries under the Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY).

  • In its audit report on Performance Audit of AB-PMJAY, tabled in Lok Sabha, the CAG said that overall, 7,49,820 beneficiaries were linked with a single mobile number in the Beneficiary Identification System (BIS) of the scheme.


GS II- Welfare Schemes

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)
  2. National Health Protection Mission
  3. Health and Wellness Centres
  4. About the National Health Authority (NHA)

About Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)

  • Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives, namely Health and wellness Centres and National  Health Protection Scheme.
  • The PM Jan Arogya Yojana beneficiaries get an e-card that can be used to avail services at an empanelled hospital, public or private, anywhere in the country, with which they can walk into a hospital and obtain cashless treatment.
  • The scheme has certain pre-conditions by which it picks who can avail of the health cover benefit. While in the rural areas the list is mostly categorized on lack of housing, meagre income and other deprivations, the urban list of PMJAY beneficiaries is drawn up on the basis of occupation.
  • AB PM-JAY is the flagship scheme of the Union government as a part of the Indian government’s National Health Policy.

National Health Protection Mission

  • AB-PMJAY provides a defined insurance benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. This cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures.
  • To ensure that nobody is left out (especially women, children and elderly) there will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme.
  • The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities. All public hospitals in the States implementing AB-PMJAY, will be deemed empanelled for the Scheme.
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
  • To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis.

Health and Wellness Centres

  • Under this 1.5 lakh existing sub centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people in the form of Health and wellness centres.
  • These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.

About the National Health Authority (NHA)

  • National Health Authority (NHA) is the apex body responsible for implementing India’s flagship public health insurance/assurance scheme called “Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana”.
  • The NHA been entrusted with the role of designing strategy, building technological infrastructure and implementation of “Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission” to create a National Digital Health Eco-system.
  • National Health Authority (2019) is the successor of the National Health Agency, which was functioning as a registered society since 2018 (Not a Statutory body).
  • NHA has been set-up to implement PM-JAY, as it is popularly known, at the national level.
  • NHA is an attached office of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with full functional autonomy.
  • NHA is also leading the implementation for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission ABDM in coordination with different ministries/departments of the Government of India, State Governments, and private sector/civil society organizations.
  • NHA is governed by a Governing Board chaired by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and it is headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), an officer of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India, who manages its affairs.

-Source: Indian Express

April 2024