1. COMMON NATIONAL MEDICAL REGISTER
TAGS: GS 2: HEALTH ISSUES
THE CONTEXT: All registered medical practitioners across the country will now be covered under a common National Medical Register with each of them allotted a unique identification number, as per a gazette notification recently released by the National Medical Commission (NMC) titled “Registration of Medical Practitioners and License to Practice Medicine Regulations, 2023”.
- A common medical register will be maintained and updated by the NMC for all the registered medical practitioners of the country. The register will be maintained and updated by the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB).
- Indian government has made it mandatory for all registered doctors to get a Unique Identification Number (UID) from the National Medical Commission (NMC) to make it easier for people to get the access of doctors’ detail.
- National register will contain all the entries of the registered medical practitioners of all State registers maintained by the various State Medical Councils.
- This register will be made public on the official NMC website and will contain relevant information about a medical practitioner including registration number, name, father’s name, date of registration, place of working (name of hospital/institute), medical qualification including additional medical qualification, speciality, year of passing, university, name of the institute/university where qualification was obtained.
- The notification explains that until such time that these regulations and appropriate sections are in force, licence to practise and prevailing system of registration shall continue.
- The NMC has also laid down the process of registration of additional qualifications, renewal of licence to practise medicine, transfer of licence to practise, removal and restoration of registration, transitory provisions, denial of licence to practise, among others.
- The licence to practice medicine issued to a registered medical practitioner will be valid for a period of five years after which the medical practitioner will have to renew the licencing by making an app application to the State Medical Council as per Registration of Medical Practitioners and Licence to Practice Medicine Regulations, 2023″.
- The application for renewal of licence may be made before three month of expiration of the validity of licence.
- On denial of licence to practise, the notification says that if the application of a candidate for grant of licence to practise /for renewal is rejected by the State Medical Council on any ground, the applicant concerned may file an appeal to the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) against the decision of the State medical Council, within 30 days of receipt of such decision.
- The EMRB shall examine the appeal and in case the first appeal is rejected by the Board, the applicant may file a second appeal to the NMC, within a period of 60 days from receipt of communication from the EMRB. “The decision of the NMC shall be final,” said the notification.
- The notification also makes the passing of National Exit Test (NEXT) compulsory for both Indian and foreign medical graduates for the purpose of registration with the National Medical Register.
National Medical Register:
- National Medical Register is a central database maintained and updated by the National Medical Commission (NMC).
- It contains all the details about the doctor registered with the website. Government has made it mandatory for all doctors to register themselves with NMC.
- Database includes the information of all the doctors registered with State Medical Councils across India till 2021.
National Medical Commission:
- The National Medical Commission (NMC) has been constituted by an act of Parliament known as National Medical Commission Act, 2019 by replacing the Medical Council of India (MCI).
- The Aim of the National Medical Commission are:
- improve access to quality and affordable medical education
- ensure availability of adequate and high-quality medical professionals in all parts of the country
- promote equitable and universal healthcare that encourages community health perspective and makes services of medical professionals accessible to all the citizens
- encourages medical professionals to adopt latest medical research in their work and to contribute to research
- objectively assess medical institutions periodically in a transparent manner
- maintain a medical register for India
- enforce high ethical standards in all aspects of medical services
- have an effective grievance redressal mechanism
2. PRODUCTION LINKED INCENTIVE (PLI) SCHEME
TAGS: GS 3: ECONOMY
THE CONTEXT: The Union Cabinet has approved the second edition of the production linked incentive (PLI 2.0) scheme for IT hardware with a ₹17,000-crore outlay.
PRODUCTION LINKED INCENTIVE (PLI) SCHEME:
- The scheme was first introduced in March 2020 and in 2021-2022 Budget an outlay of Rs 1.97 lakh crore was announced for the PLI scheme.
- The scheme is aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative of the government.
- PLIs are essentially financial incentives for businesses to augment their output. They could come in the form of tax rebates, lowered import and export duties or easier land acquisition norms.
- The 14 sectors are mobile manufacturing, manufacturing of medical devices, automobiles and auto components, pharmaceuticals, drugs, specialty steel, telecom & networking products, electronic products, white goods (ACs and LEDs), food products, textile products, solar PV modules, advanced chemistry cell (ACC) battery, and drones and drone components.
- It aims to make Indian manufacturers globally competitive, attract investment in the areas of core competency and cutting-edge technology; ensure efficiencies; create economies of scale; enhance exports and make India an integral part of the global supply chain.
Implementation of PLI Scheme:
- The PLI scheme will be implemented by the concerned ministries/departments and will be within the overall financial limits prescribed.
- The final proposals of PLI for individual sectors will be appraised by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) and approved by the Cabinet.
- The incentive amount offered varies across sectorsand the savings generated from PLI of one sector can be appropriated towards other sector after approval from
Empowered Group of Secretaries.
- Any new sector for PLI will require fresh approval of the Cabinet.
Sectors under PLI Scheme:
- Mobile Manufacturing and Specified Electronic Components: It comes under MEITY and it aims for Large Scale Mobile and Electronics Manufacturing and proposes a financial incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the electronics value chain including mobile phones, electronic components and ATMP units.
- Manufacturing of Medical Devices: It comes under Department of Pharmaceuticals. It aims to strengthen India’s manufacturing capacity in the pharmaceutical sector by increasing investment and production. Department laid special emphasis on promoting domestic manufacturing of medical equipment and strengthening the pharmaceutical industry.
- Automobiles and auto components: The automotive industry is a major economic contributor in India. The PLI scheme will make the Indian automotive Industry more competitive and will enhance globalization of the Indian automotive sector.
- Pharmaceutical industry: The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world by volume and 14th largest in terms of value. It contributes 3.5% of the total drugs and medicines exported globally. India possesses the complete ecosystem for development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and a robust ecosystem of allied industries. The PLI scheme will incentivize the global and domestic players to engage in high value production.
- Drugs: With an objective to attain self-reliance and reduce import dependence in these critical Bulk Drugs – Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/ Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in the country, the Department of Pharmaceuticals had launched a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for promotion of their domestic manufacturing by setting up greenfield plants.
- Specialty Steel: It is a strategically important industry and India is the world’s second largest steel producer in the world. It is a net exporter of finished steel and has the potential to become a champion in certain grades of steel. A PLI scheme in Specialty Steel will help in enhancing manufacturing capabilities for value added steel leading to increase in total exports.
- Telecom equipment: It forms a critical and strategic element of building a secured telecom infrastructure and India aspires to become a major original equipment manufacturer of telecom and networking products. The PLI scheme is expected to attract large investments from global players and help domestic companies seize the emerging opportunities and become big players in the export market.
- Electronic products: India is expected to have a USD 1 trillion digital economy by 2025. Additionally, the Government’s push for data localization, Internet of Things market in India, projects such as Smart City and Digital India are expected to increase the demand for electronic products. The PLI scheme will boost the production of electronic products in India.
- White goods (ACs and LEDs): White goods (air conditioners and LEDs) have very high potential of domestic value addition and making these products globally competitive. A PLI scheme for the sector will lead to more domestic manufacturing, generation of jobs and increased exports.
- Food products: The growth of the processed food industry leads to better price for farmers and reduces high levels of wastage. Specific product lines having high growth potential and capabilities to generate medium- to large-scale employment have been identified for providing support through PLI scheme.
- Textile products: The Indian textile industry is one of the largest in the world and has a share of 5% of global exports in textiles and apparel. But India’s share in the manmade fibre (MMF) segment is low in contrast to the global consumption pattern, which is majorly in this segment. The PLI scheme will attract large investment in the sector to further boost domestic manufacturing, especially in the MMF segment and technical textiles.
- Advanced chemistry cell (ACC) battery: ACC battery manufacturing represents one of the largest economic opportunities of the twenty-first century for several global growth sectors, such as consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and renewable energy. The PLI scheme for ACC battery will incentivize large domestic and international players in establishing a competitive ACC battery set-up in the country.
- Drones and drone components: Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy as agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance etc. Given its traditional strengths, India has the potential of becoming a global drone hub by 2030. The PLI scheme comes as a follow-through of the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021released by the Central Government on 25 August 2021. The PLI scheme and new drone rules are intended to catalyse super-normal growth in the upcoming drone sectors.
- Solar PV modules: Large imports of solar PV panels pose risks in supply-chain resilience and have strategic security challenges considering the electronic (hackable) nature of the value chain. A focused PLI scheme for solar PV modules will incentivize domestic and global players to build large-scale solar PV capacity in India and help India leapfrog in capturing the global value chains for solar PV manufacturing.
3. UNIQUE ECONOMIC OFFENDER CODE
TAGS: GS 3: ECONOMY
THE CONTEXT: Government aims to create a unique code for each individual or company accused of economic offences for the identification of economic offenders.
- The ‘Unique Economic Offender Code’ will be alpha-numeric which will be PAN or Aadhaar-based for companies and individuals to tag all the cases of economic offences against them and have a 360-degree profile.
- A database of about 2.5 lakh economic offenders has been setup by the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau under the finance ministry.
- By creating these unique codes, government aims to quickly launch a multi-agency probe against the offenders against the current practice of waiting for one agency to complete its probe and file chargesheet or prosecution complaint before the same is shared with others for further investigation.
- The code will be system-generated and will emerge once police, any central intelligence or enforcement agency feeds data into the under-construction central repository of NEOR -National Economic Offence Records. This would mean that will be easily identified with a Unique Economic Offender Code.
National Economic Offence Records (NEOR):
- It is a central repository of all economic offences that will share data related to each economic offender with all central and state intelligence and enforcement agencies.
- It is being created with a Rs 40 crore budget.
- The task of its completion has been assigned to the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau with the help of the National Informatics Centre.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF):
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF) formed in 1989 in G7 Summit in Paris is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.
- It originally included the G7 countries, the European Commission and eight other countries.
- India becameObserver at FATF in the year 2006 and in 2010 India admitted as 34th Country Member of FATF.
- There are currently 39 membersof the FATF; 37 jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations (the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Commission)
- It sets international standards, and to develop and promote policies, both at national and international levels, to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
- The FATF membership is currently made up of 32 countries and territories and two regional organizations. Eight regional bodies similar to FATF, known as FATF Style Regional Bodies, have also developed.
4. AADHAAR-enabled PAYMENT SYSTEM (AePS)
TAGS: PRELIMS PERSPECTIVE
THE CONTEXT: Gaps in Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS) is being abused by cybercriminals.
Scammers are reportedly using leaked biometric details, bypassing the need for OTPs, to siphon money from users’ bank accounts. A quick search on Google reveals that similar incidents have been reported in many different parts of the country.
- Aadhaar-enabled Payment Services (AePS) is a bank-led model which allows online financial transactions at Point-of-Sale (PoS) and Micro ATMs through the business correspondent of any bank using Aadhaar authentication.
- Banking Services Offered by AePS includes cash deposit, cash withdrawal, balance inquiry, mini statement, Aadhaar to Aadhaar fund transfer, authentication, and BHIM Aadhaar pay.
- The model removes the need for OTPs, bank account details, and other financial details. It allows fund transfers using only the bank name, Aadhaar number, and fingerprint captured during Aadhaar enrolment, according to the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI).
The only inputs required for a customer to do a transaction under this scenario are:
- Bank Name
- Aadhaar Number
- Fingerprint captured during enrollment.
- To empower a bank customer to use Aadhaar as his/her identity to access his/ her respective Aadhaar enabled bank account and perform basic banking transactions like cash deposit, cash withdrawal, Intrabank or interbank fund transfer, balance enquiry and obtain a mini statement through a Business Correspondent
- To sub-serve the goal of Government of India (GoI) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in furthering Financial Inclusion.
- To sub-serve the goal of RBI in electronification of retail payments.
- To enable banks to route the Aadhaar initiated interbank transactions through a central switching and clearing agency.
- To facilitate disbursements of Government entitlements like NREGA, Social Security pension, Handicapped Old Age Pension etc. of any Central or State Government bodies, using Aadhaar and authentication thereof as supported by UIDAI.
- To facilitate inter-operability across banks in a safe and secured manner.
- To build the foundation for a full range of Aadhaar enabled Banking services.
Are AePS transactions enabled by default?
- Neither Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDA)I nor NPCI mentions clearly whether AePS is enabled by default.
- Cashless India, a website managed and run by MeitY, says the service does not require any activation, with the only requirement being that the user’s bank account should be linked with their Aadhaar number.
- Users who wish to receive any benefit or subsidy under schemes notified under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, have to mandatorily submit their Aadhaar number to the banking service provider, according to UIDAI.
- Aadhaar is also the preferred method of KYC for banking institutions, thus enabling AePS by default for most bank account holders.
How to secure Aadhaar biometric information?
- The UIDAI is proposing an amendment to the Aadhaar (Sharing of Information) Regulations, 2016, which will require entities in possession of an Aadhaar number to not share details unless the Aadhaar numbers have been redacted or blacked out through appropriate means, both in print and electronic form.
- The UIDAI has also implemented a new two-factor authentication mechanism that uses a machine-learning-based security system, combining finger minutiae and finger image capture to check the liveness of a fingerprint.
- Additionally, users are also advised to ensure that they lock their Aadhaar information by visiting the UIDAI website or using the mobile app. This will ensure that their biometric information, even if compromised, cannot be used to initiate financial transactions.
5. NUTRIENT BASED SUBSIDY SCHEME
TAGS: GS 3: ECONOMY
THE CONTEXT: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for revision in Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for various nutrients i.e. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P),Potash (K) and Sulphur (S) for Rabi Season 2022-23 and approved NBS rates for Kharif Season, 2023 for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers.
- The Subsidy on P&K fertilizers is governed by Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme.
- The Cabinet decision will have the two-fold benefit of ensuring availability of DAP and other P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized, affordable and reasonable prices during Kharif season and will also ensure rationalization of subsidy on P&K fertilizers.
Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme:
- Government of India decontrolled Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers with effect from 25th August 1992 on the recommendations of Joint Parliamentary Committee.
- Consequent upon the decontrol, the prices of the Phosphatic & Potassic fertilizers registered a sharp increase in the market, which exercised an adverse impact on the demand and consumption of the same.
- It led to an imbalance in the usage of the nutrients of N, P & K (Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash) and the productivity of the soil.
- A Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to look into all aspects of the fertilizer regime, recommended that Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) may be introduced based on the contents of the nutrients in the subsidized fertilizers.
- Government then introduced Nutrient Based Subsidy Policy under the Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizersin 2010 in continuation of the erstwhile Concession Scheme for decontrolled P & K fertilizers.
Features of the scheme:
- It aims to provide fertilizers to the farmers at subsidized prices and rationalizes the subsidy on P&K fertilizers, ensuring effective and efficient utilization of government resources.
- The MRP of urea is statutorily fixedby the Government of India and is not included in the NBS scheme and remains under price control.
- It aims to ensuring Nation’s food security, improving agricultural productivity and ensuring the balanced application of fertilizers.
- Subsidy is fixed by an inter-ministerial committee taking into account the benchmark international prices of finished fertilisers as well as raw materials.
- The subsidy is given to registered P & K fertiliser manufacturers/importers which provides these fertilisers at subsidised rates to farmers.
- NBS to be paid annually on each nutrient namely, ‘N’, ‘P’, ‘K’ and ‘S’ has been decided/announced by the Government for 2022-23.
- Distribution and movement of fertilizers along with import of finished fertilizers, fertilizer inputs and production by indigenous units continues to be monitored through the on-line web based “Integrated Fertilizer Monitoring System (iFMS)” (erstwhile FMS and mFMS).
- The fertilizer companies are required to print Maximum Retail Price (MRP) along with applicable subsidy on the fertilizer bags clearly. Any sale above the printed MRP will be punishable under the EC Act.
- Manufacturers of customized fertilizers and mixture fertilizers are eligible to source subsidized fertilizers from the manufacturers/ importers after their receipt in the districts as inputs for manufacturing customized fertilizers and mixture fertilizers for agricultural purpose. There is no separate subsidy on sale of customized fertilizers and mixture fertilizers.