- Sovereign Wealth Funds
- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushdhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)
- Food Fortification
- Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)
Focus: GS 3; Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
Why in News?
PM to chair Virtual Global Investor RoundTable, Top Pension and Sovereign Wealth Funds from across the world to participate in the Roundtable.
About Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF)
- The Union Budget 2015-16 saw Arun Jaitley, the then Finance Minister, amending the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF would focus only on core sector projects), which happens to be India’s First Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
- An Sovereign Wealth Fund is an investment fund which is primarily owned by the National Government.
- These funds generally invest in financial instruments such as bonds, stocks, gold, and real estate.
- Some funds may invest indirectly in domestic industries.
Above image attached about Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
- They tend to prefer returns over liquidity, thus they have a higher risk tolerance than traditional foreign exchange reserves.
- A few Sovereign Wealth Fund’s invest the government’s surplus funds such as foreign currency reserves , while the other Sovereign Wealth Fund’s invest revenues resulting from trading crude oil and commodities (Created through commodity exports, either taxed or owned by the government).
- The operating principles for Sovereign Wealth Fund’s (SWF) were framed in 2008 to ensure that funds would act for economic growth.
- The “Santiago principles” are laid down which dictates that a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) must compulsorily invest for good returns and has a transparent structure. However, these rules apply only to those countries that volunteer to follow.
Above image attached of Santiago Principles for Soverign Wealth Fund (SWF).
The definition of Sovereign Wealth Fund does not include:-
- Foreign currency reserve assets held by monetary authorities for the traditional balance of payments or monetary policy purposes
- State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the traditional sense.
- Government-employee pension funds (funded by employee/employer contributions) Or assets managed for the benefit of individuals
Above image attached Difference between SWF , State owned enterprise, Public pension fund.
Advantages of Soverign Wealth Fund (SWF)
- If a country heavily relies on natural resources, and when the resources are drained, then you can supplement the income with the help of SWF.
- An SWF can be used to counter a recession and increased government spending’s.
- An SWF can act as a substitute for the company’s incomes other than taxes.
Disadvantage’s of Soverign Wealth Fund (SWF)
- The returns are not guaranteed, you can lose everything at once.
- The foreign exchange rates can be impacted.
- Lack of transparency may result in mismanagement of the funds.
About National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
- The government had set up the ₹40,000 crore NIIF in 2015 as an investment vehicle for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled infrastructure projects.
- The Indian government is investing 49% and the rest of the corpus is to be raised from third-party investors such as sovereign wealth funds, insurance and pension funds, endowments, etc.
- NIIF’s mandate includes investing in areas such as energy, transportation, housing, water, waste management and other infrastructure-related sectors in India.
- NIIF currently manages three funds each with its distinctive investment mandate. The funds are registered as Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The three funds under NIIF are as follows:-
- Master Fund: Is an infrastructure fund with the objective of primarily investing in operating assets in the core infrastructure sectors such as roads, ports, airports, power etc.
- Fund of Funds: Managed by fund managers who have good track records in infrastructure and associated sectors in India. Some of the sectors of focus include Green Infrastructure, Mid-Income & Affordable Housing, Infrastructure services and allied sectors.
- Strategic Investment Fund: Is registered as an Alternative Investment Fund II under SEBI in India. The objective is to invest largely in equity and equity-linked instruments. It will focus on green field and brown field investments in the core infrastructure sectors.
Focus: GS 2; Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Why in News?
Shri Sadananda Gowda holds a review meeting of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushdhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).
About Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushdhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)
- ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. Of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra’s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra.
- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra (PMBJK) have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
- Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency of PMBJP.
- BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs.
Mission of PMBJP
- Create awareness among public regarding generic medicines.
- Create demand for generic medicines through medical practioners.
- Create awareness through education and awareness program that high price need not be synonymous with high quality.
- Provide all the commonly used generic medicines covering all the therapeutic groups.
- Provide all the related health care products too under the scheme.
Vision of PMBJP
- To bring down the healthcare budget of every citizen of India through providing Quality generic Medicines at Affordable Prices.
Salient Features of the Scheme as follows
- Ensure access to quality medicines.
- Extend coverage of quality generic medicines so as to reduce the out of pocket (OOP) expenditure on medicines and thereby redefine the unit cost of treatment per person.
- Create awareness about generic medicines through education and publicity so that quality is not synonymous with only high price.
- A public programme involving Government, PSUs, Private Sector, NGO, Societies, Co-operative Bodies and other Institutions.
- Create demand for generic medicines by improving access to better healthcare through low treatment cost and easy availability wherever needed in all therapeutic categories.
Benefits of the Jan Aushadhi Campaign
- The Jan Aushadhi initiative will make available quality drugs at affordable prices through dedicated stores selling generic medicines which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
- Promote greater awareness about cost effective drugs and their prescription.
- Make available unbranded quality generic medicines at affordable prices through public-private partnership.
- Encourage doctors, more specifically in government hospital to prescribe generic medicines.
- Enable substantial savings in health care more particularly in the case of poor patients and those suffering from chronic ailments requiring long periods of drug use.
Focus: GS 3; Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
Why in News?
15 States have been identified for implementing Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on Fortification of Rice & its distribution through Public Distribution System.
About Food Fortification
- Fortification is defined by World Health Organization (WHO) as the “practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, i.e. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in food. So as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health“.
- One of the most effective, scalable, affordable, and sustainable ways to address micronutrient deficiencies is fortification of staple foods.
- Fortification of foods started almost a century ago in 1918. This has led to near eradication of goiter, rickets, beriberi, and pellagra in many countries. Over 130 countries mandated iodized salt, 80 countries have mandated cereal grain (wheat, rice, or maize) fortification and many countries are fortifying milk and edible oils.
- In India, fortification of Vanaspati with Vitamin A since 1953, and mandatory fortification of salt with iodine since 1962 have been public health successes. However, there has been no program to fortify at scale since then.
Above attached image of Fortified product should have Fortification Logo (+F) Logo.
- Malnutrition is a prominent issue in India , 38 per cent of children under five years are stunted i.e. too short for their age, 36 per cent are underweight and 21 per cent are wasted i.e. too thin for their height, which is a sign of acute under-nutrition, 59 per cent women and 53 per cent children are anaemic.
- A large share of India’s population suffers from a high incidence of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Over 70 percent people in India are still consuming less than half of their Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of micronutrients.
- One third of the two billion people globally that suffer from vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies are in India.
- This “Hidden Hunger” affects all sections of India’s population–urban and rural, rich and poor, old and young with women and children most at risk.
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) made standards for fortification in the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018, for five staples i.e. wheat, rice, milk, oil and salt.
Above image attached of FSSAI included 5 basic times to be fortified for better health i.e, Milk,Rice,Salt,Oil and Wheat Flour
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), in collaboration with various stakeholders, has been working towards fulfilling its mandate of ensuring the availability of safe and wholesome food to meet the health and nutritional needs of the country.
- Food Fortification is one such cost effective strategy that helps in improving the health and nutritional status of the most vulnerable sections of our society especially, of our children and mothers.
- Fortified foods provides vitamin & minerals that helps prevent anemia, miscarriage & maternal deaths etc.,
Fortification in Government Programmes
- Fortification in Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
- Fortification in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
- Fortification in Public Distribution System.
- Fortification through SABLA: A Scheme for Adolescent Girls.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Food Fortification
Advantages of Food Fortification
- Fortification is one of the most cost effective strategies that can be implemented on a larger scale since the cost of fortification is generally less than other techniques to address nutrition deficiencies.
- Fortified foods are considered to be better at lowering the risk of multiple deficiencies that can result from seasonal deficits in the food supply or a poor quality diet.
- Fortification does not require any behaviour modification or compliance that is expected in supplementation. It does not require a change in the individual food habits and consumption pattern.
- The quantity of micronutrients added to the food product is small and well regulated, and so the likelihood of an overdose of nutrients is unlikely.
- Fortification is planned in such a way that the intrinsic characteristics of the food are not altered, such as the taste, the appearance and the texture.
- The food fortification process can be initiated quickly after formulating a set of regulations and standards. This means that the objective of improving the health of needy communities can be attained in a short period of time.
Disadvantages of Food Fortification.
- A fortified food product is rich in a particular micronutrient but in low-income countries people may often suffer from multiple micronutrient deficiencies and hence they may not benefit by consuming a fortified product rich in a particular micronutrient.
- Population groups who consume relatively small amounts of food, such as infants, young children and the elderly are less likely to benefit from the consumption of fortified foods.
- Individuals in the community who cannot afford to buy the staples or are dependent on government’s PDS system for their staples may not get benefitted via normal food fortification plans. For such populations, fortified staples must be circulated to them via the PDS system.
- Fortified foods have some added micronutrients. Many researchers believe that dietary diversity is a better approach to attain the nutrient requirements in a natural manner.
- There are technological issues relating to food fortification, especially with regard to appropriate levels of nutrients, stability of fortificants, nutrient interactions, physical properties, as well as acceptability by consumers.
- More knowledge is required about the impact of interactions among nutrients. For example, the presence of large amounts of calcium can inhibit the absorption of iron from a fortified food, the presence of vitamin C has the opposite effect and increases iron absorption.
- While it is often more cost-effective than other strategies, there are nevertheless considerable costs associated with the food fortification process. These may range from start-up costs and the costs of conducting trials for micronutrient levels, physical qualities and taste, to a realistic analysis of the purchasing power of the probable beneficiaries.
Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018 are as follows:
- It prescribes the standards of addition of micronutrients for the purpose of food fortification.
- The manufacturers of the fortified food are required to provide a quality assurance undertaking.
- Packaging and labelling of the fortified food must state the food fortificant added, logo and the tagline “Sampoorna Poshan Swasth Jeevan“.
- It should be in compliance to the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
About Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI)
- It is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
- The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India.
- FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
- The FSSAI is headed by a non-executive Chairperson, appointed by the Central Government, either holding or has held the position of not below the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
Focus: GS 3; Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
Why in News?
Tele-Law touches a new milestone; 4 Lakh beneficiaries received legal advice under the initiative through Common Service Centre (CSC).
- The Department of Justice has partnered with NALSA and CSC e-Governance Service India Limited for mainstreaming legal aid to the marginalized communities through Common Services Center (CSC).
- The Tele-Law means the use of communications and information technology for the delivery of legal information and advice. This e-interaction between lawyers and people would be through the video-conferencing infrastructure available at the CSCs.
- The concept of Tele-Law is to facilitate delivery of legal advice through a panel of lawyers stationed at the state Legal Services Authorities (SALSA) and CSC.
Above image of The Process of Tele-Law Services.
- The project initiates to connect citizens with lawyers through video conferencing facilities by the Para-Legal Volunteers stationed at identified 1800 panchayat.
Focus: GS-II; Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Why in News?
Observance of Vigilance Awareness Week in Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
About Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)
- The ESI Act 1948 was the first major legislation on social security for workers in India. It provides for health-related events, such as sickness, maternity and temporary or permanent disability.
- It also covers occupational disease or death due to employment injury, resulting in loss of wages or earning capacity either total or partial.
- Under the Act, employers and employees contribute their share, respectively, with the rate of contribution being decided through the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
- It applies to premises where 10 or more persons are employed.
- Employees with wages up to Rs 21,000 a month (earlier Rs 15,000 per month) are entitled to the health insurance cover and other benefits under the ESI Act.
- ESI Corporation (ESIC), which is an autonomous body, regulates medical services being provided by the ESI Scheme in the respective states and Union Territories.