Healthy States, Progressive India: State Health Index
Why in News?
NITI Aayog has released the fourth edition of the State Health Index for 2019–20 and it has been compiled and published since 2017.
The report, titled “The Healthy States, Progressive India”, ranks states and Union Territories on their year-on-year incremental performance in health outcomes as well as their overall status.
Earlier, the Global Health Security (GHS) Index 2021, developed in partnership with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center was released. India, with a score of 42.8 (out of 100) has slipped by 0.8 points since 2019.
It is a weighted composite index based on 24 indicators grouped under 3 Domains:
It includes parameters such as neonatal mortality rate, under-5 mortality rate, the sex ratio at birth.
Governance and Information:
It includes parameters such as institutional deliveries, average occupancy of senior officers in key posts earmarked for health.
It consists of the proportion of shortfall in health care providers to what is recommended, functional medical facilities, birth, and death registration, and tuberculosis treatment success rate.
NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from theWorld Bank, and in close consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
Round IV of the report focuses on measuring and highlighting the overall performance and incremental improvement of states and UTs over the period 2018–19 to 2019–20.
Ranking of States:
To ensure comparison among similar entities, the ranking is categorized as:
In terms of annual incremental performance, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Telangana are the top three ranking states.
Mizoram and Meghalaya registered the maximum annual incremental progress.
Delhi, followed by Jammu and Kashmir, showed the best incremental performance.
The top-ranking states wereKerala and Tamil Nadu among the ‘Larger States’, Mizoram and Tripura among the ‘Smaller States’, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (DH&DD) and Chandigarh among the UTs.
Significance of the Index:
States use it in their policymaking and resource allocation and it is an example of both competitive and cooperative federalism.
The index encourages healthy competition and cross-learning among States and UTs.
Helpful in Achieving SDGs:
The exercise is expected to help drive state and union territories’ efforts towards the achievement of health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Role in National Health Mission:
The importance of this annual tool is reemphasized by MoHFW’s decision to link the index to incentives under the National Health Mission.
Limitations of the Index:
Some critical areas such as infectious diseases, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), mental health, governance, and financial risk protection are not fully captured in the Health Index.
For several indicators, the data is limited to service delivery in public facilities due to paucity and uneven availability of private-sector data on health services.
For several indicators, Health Management Information System (HMIS)data and programme data were used without any field verification due to the lack of feasibility of conducting independent field surveys.
Cloud Seeding and Air Pollution of Delhi
What is the news?
According to a document from the Central Pollution Control Board, weather conditions, such as low moisture levels in the capital during the winter, are unsupportive of cloud seeding and, thus, the project was not further taken up.
It is a weather-modification technology to help create rain to achieve different goals, including improving the air quality.
Why the decision to drop the idea of cloud seeding?
Cloud seeding technology was being pursued a few years back by government agencies with the help of different institutes, including IIT-Kanpur, to fight Delhi’s pollution problem. However, it has been discarded now due to the following weather limitations:
During winters, Delhi often receives northwesterly winds, which are cold and dry. Moreover, generally, the moisture in the air is too less during winter in northern India, which limits the scope of cloud seeding.
The potential pre-existing clouds are needed to carry out the seeding process.
This limits the scope of cloud seeding during winter to bring rain and disperse the smoke.
What is the way forward?
Cloud seeding must not be turned down just because of the weather of Delhi and should be explored as a technological advancement on the lines of China.
Cloud seeding needs to be pursued as it has other applications:
India has several drought-hit areas like in Bundelkhand in UP and elsewhere in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The technology also has strategic applications, like for defense purposes. Over the past decade, many countries, especially China, have mastered it.
5G in India
Why in News?
Recently, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)has announced that India’s major metros will have 5G services next year.
Like other global players, India had, in 2018, planned to start 5Gservices as soon as possible, with an aim to capitalize on the better network speeds and strength that the technology promised.
About 5G Technology:
5G is the 5thgeneration mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
It enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.
Internet speeds in the high-band spectrum of 5G have been tested to be as high as 20 Gbps (gigabits per second), while, in most cases, the maximum internet data speed in 4G has been recorded at 1 Gbps.
Evolution from First Generation to Fifth Generation
1Gwas launched in the 1980s and worked on analog radio signals and supported only voice calls.
2Gwas launched in the 1990s which uses digital radio signals and supports both voice and data transmission with a bandwidth of 64 Kbps.
3Gwas launched in the 2000s with a speed of 1 Mbps to 2 Mbps and it has the ability to transmit telephone signals including digitized voice, video calls, and conferencing.
4Gwas launched in 2009 with a peak speed of 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps and it also enables 3D virtual reality.
Different Bands of 5G:
5G mainly works in 3 bands, namely low, mid and high-frequency spectrum — all of which have their own uses as well as limitations.
Low Band Spectrum:In terms of coverage and speed of Internet and data exchange, the maximum speed is limited to 100 Mbps.
Mid-Band Spectrum:It offers higher speeds compared to the low band but has limitations in terms of coverage area and penetration of signals.
High Band Spectrum:It offers the highest speed of all three bands, but has extremely limited coverage and signal penetration strength.
What is a zero-day vulnerability?
A 0 day (or zero-day vulnerability) refers to a security flaw that has not been publicly disclosed and for which a software patch or remediation technique is not available.
Considering that attempts at exploiting Log4Shell were observed at least a week prior to it being publicly disclosed, it could be said that it was a 0-day vulnerability, however, only for a very brief period.
Log4jis a widely used software logging library for Java software. Earlier this month, information about a critical security vulnerability in the library was publicly disclosed.
Garima Greh Scheme
Why in News?
The Madras High Court has asked the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to extend the Garima Greh scheme to the entire LGBTQIA+ community, not just transgenders.
Currently, the scheme provides secure living space and care to only those persons who fall under the category of “transgender persons”.
The main aim of Garima Greh is to provide shelter to transgender persons with basic amenities like food, medical care, and recreational facilities.
Besides, it will provide support for the capacity-building/skill development of Transgender persons.
The Centre had provided 100% financial assistance for setting up such shelters in 12 States.
Biodiesel Blending Programme
Why in News?
Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas remotely flagged off the first supply of Used Cooking Oil (UCO) based Biodiesel blended Diesel under the EOI Scheme from Indian Oil’s Tikrikalan Terminal, Delhi.
Ministry of Finance has reduced the GST rate on biodiesel – which is sold to OMCs for blending with diesel – from 12% to 5%.
Launched in 2005 by the MoP&NG, the Biodiesel Blending Programme (BBP) seeks to achieve a blending of Biodiesel with diesel.
Biodiesel is produced from Used Cooking Oil (UCO). It is marketed by OMCs and other agencies.
OMCs are to purchase Biodiesel (B100), meeting the fuel quality standard prescribed by BIS for blending with High-Speed Diesel (HSD) to the extent of 5% at identified purchase centres across the country.
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) is implementing agency.
National Policy on Biofuels 2018 represents a target of 5% of blending biodiesel in a diesel by 2030.
Availability of biodiesel has been low in the last few years due to the increase of price and non-availability of feedstock for biodiesel.