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PIB Summaries 19 August 2023

CONTENTS

  1. Floodwatch App
  2. Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme

Floodwatch App


Context:

Recently, the Chairman of Central Water Commission (CWC) launched the mobile application, “FloodWatch. 

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Floodwatch App: Enhancing Flood Preparedness
  2. Central Water Commission: Key Facts

Floodwatch App: Enhancing Flood Preparedness

Key Features:

Real-time Flood Situation:

  • The Floodwatch App delivers real-time flood-related information and forecasts for up to 7 days to the general public.
  • It offers both readable and audio broadcasts for ease of access.
  • Information is available in both English and Hindi languages.

Flood Monitoring and Forecasting:

  • Users can stay updated on the current flood situation across the country through real-time flood monitoring.
  • The app utilizes near real-time river flow data from multiple sources.

Location-specific Forecast:

  • The app provides flood forecasts at users’ nearest locations, ensuring relevant and location-specific flood advisories.
  • Flood advisories for the next 24 hours or up to 7 days can be accessed for specific stations, states, or basins.

Utilizing Advanced Technologies:

  • Floodwatch employs cutting-edge technologies like satellite data analysis, mathematical modeling, and real-time monitoring.
  • These technologies work in unison to provide accurate and timely flood forecasts.

Importance:

  • Floodwatch aims to enhance public awareness and preparedness regarding flood situations, ultimately contributing to minimizing the impact of floods on communities and infrastructure.

User-friendly Interface:

  • Developed in-house, the app offers a user-friendly interface, ensuring that even non-experts can access and comprehend the flood-related information.
  • The Floodwatch App exemplifies the potential of technology in delivering critical information to the public, aiding disaster preparedness and response efforts.

Central Water Commission: Key Facts

  • The Central Water Commission (CWC) holds a distinguished status as India’s leading Technical Organization focused on Water Resources.
  • Currently, CWC operates as an attached office under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, which encompasses the Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Core Responsibilities:
  • CWC bears the crucial responsibilities of initiating, coordinating, and advancing schemes in collaboration with relevant State Governments.
  • These schemes revolve around the control, conservation, and efficient utilization of water resources across the entire nation.
  • In addition to its role in planning and coordination, CWC also engages in conducting investigations, as well as overseeing the construction and implementation of necessary water resource projects.

Leadership Structure:

  • The Commission’s leadership is led by a Chairman, who carries the esteemed designation of Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India.

Strategic Importance:

  • CWC’s pivotal role plays a significant part in addressing water-related challenges, contributing to the effective management and optimal utilization of India’s vital water resources.

Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme


Context:

The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) added 20.27 lakh new members under the Employees State Insurance Scheme in June.

Relevance:

GS II: Government Policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme
  2. Features and Benefits of the ESI scheme
  3. Employee’s State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme

  • The ESI scheme is a self-financed comprehensive social security scheme devised to protect the employees covered under the scheme against financial distress arising out of events of sickness, disablement or death due to employment injuries.
  • The ESI Scheme is financed by contributions from employers and employees.
  • The Employees’ State Insurance Scheme is an integrated measure of Social Insurance embodied in the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Act, 1948.
  • The ESI Scheme applies to factories and other establishment’s viz. Road Transport, Hotels, Restaurants, Cinemas, Newspaper, Shops, and Educational/Medical Institutions wherein 10 or more persons are employed. (However, in some States threshold limit for coverage of establishments is still 20.)
  • Employees of the aforesaid categories of factories and establishments, drawing wages upto Rs.15,000/- a month, are entitled to social security cover under the ESI Act.
  • ESI Corporation has also decided to enhance wage ceiling for coverage of employees under the ESI Act from Rs.15,000/- to Rs.21,000/-.
Features and Benefits of the ESI scheme

Broadly, the benefits under this scheme are categorized under two categories:

  • Cash benefits (which includes sickness, maternity, disablement (temporary and permanent), funeral expenses, rehabilitation allowance, vocational rehabilitation and medical bonus) and,
  • Non-cash benefits through medical care.

Complete medical care and attention are provided by the scheme to the employee registered under the ESI Act, 1948 at the time of his incapacity, restoration of his health and working capacity.

  • During absenteeism from work due to illness, maternity or factories accidents which result in loss of wages complete financial assistance is provided to the employees to compensate for the wage loss.
  • The scheme provides medical care to family members also.
Benefits under ESI Act
  • Medical benefit
  • Sickness benefit
  • Maternity benefit
  • Disablement benefit
  • Dependants benefit
  • Funeral expenses
  • Rehabilitation allowance

Employee’s State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

  • Employee’s State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is a Statutory Body set up under the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Act, 1948, which is responsible for the administration of ESI Scheme.
  • As it is a legal entity, the corporation can raise loans and take measures for discharging such loans with the prior sanction of the central government and it can acquire both movable and immovable property and all incomes from the property shall vest with the corporation.
  • The corporation can set up hospitals either independently or in collaboration with state government or other private entities, but most of the dispensaries and hospitals are run by concerned state governments.
Challenges with Implementation of the ESI Scheme
  • If ESI coverage has to be extended all over India, at least one ESI dispensary per district is required and several model ESIC hospitals in every state. In the entire Northeast India, there are only ten ESIC dispensaries and only one ESIC Model Hospital in Guwahati, Assam.
  • There is a need for ESIC to strengthen the tie-ups with private hospitals for super-speciality services by ensuring that the private hospital bills are settled promptly so that the ESI beneficiaries can continue to get hassle-free service.

ESIC has massive surplus in its reserve funds which can be used to:

  • Establish new medical infrastructure
  • Upgrade the current medical infrastructure
  • Improve the services provided to the increasing number of beneficiaries.

February 2024
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