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Economic Survey says PMJAY has led to better health outcomes, compares West Bengal to neigbouring states

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New Delhi [India], January 30 (ANI): The Economic Survey has compared those states that implemented Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) and those which did not and says it has reflected significant improvements in several health outcomes in states that implemented the scheme.
It says that the sates which adopted the programme experienced greater penetration of health insurance, experienced a reduction in infant and child mortality rates, realized improved access and utilization of family planning services, and greater awareness about HIV/AIDS.
The Economic Survey 2020-21 was tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Friday.
While some of these effects stemmed directly from enhanced care enabled by insurance coverage, others represent spillover effects due to the same.
“Even though only a short time has elapsed since its introduction, the effects that are identified by the survey underscores the potential of the programme to significantly alter the health landscape in the country, especially for the vulnerable sections,” a release said.
Drawing comparison between data from West Bengal with that of the neighbouring states of Bihar, Assam and Sikkim, the Economic Survey says that the proportion of households that had health insurance increased in Bihar, Assam and Sikkim from 2015-16 to 2019-20 by 89 per cent while it decreased by 12 per cent over the same period in West Bengal.
It says that in addition, from 2015-16 to 2019-20, infant mortality rates declined by 20 per cent for West Bengal. The decline was 28 per cent for the three neighbouring states.
“Similarly, while Bengal saw a fall of 20 per cent in its under-5 mortality rate, the neighbours witnessed a 27 per cent reduction. Modern methods of contraception, female sterilization and pill usage went up by 36 per cent, 22 per cent and 28 per cent respectively in the three neighbouring states while the respective changes for West Bengal were reportedly negligible,” the survey said.
It said while West Bengal did not witness any significant decline in unmet need for spacing between consecutive kids, the neighbouring three states recorded a 37 per cent fall.
Findings have also revealed that various metrics for mother and child care improved more in the three neighbouring states than in West Bengal. (ANI)

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Police are treating Pooja Chavan suicide case as a crime and investigating accordingly: Maharashtra DGP

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Nagpur [Maharashtra], February 25 (ANI): Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Hemant Kumar Nagrale on Thursday said in a press conference that the police are treating the Pooja Chavan suicide case as a crime and are investigating accordingly.
“Pooja Chavan’s death is a case of suicide. We treat such suicides as a crime and the Pune police are investigating in the same manner,” said Nagrale.
“The investigation is going in the right direction. I will not comment publicly on the investigation, it would not be appropriate to talk about the investigation,” he added.
On February 8, A 22-year-old girl, Pooja Chavan, had allegedly jumped off a building to end her life. Hailing from Parli town in Beed, Pooja had gone to Pune for an English speaking course. She lived in Heaven Park society along with two persons, who are reported to be her brother and one of his friends.
A couple of days after her death, some of her audio clips went viral on social media which the opposition took up and pointed accusing fingers at the Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod, demanding an investigation into the case.
The BJP has alleged that Maharashtra forest minister Sanjay Rathod is connected with the mysterious death of the woman in Pune. Rathod has denied all allegations.
As per procedure, an accidental death (AD) case was registered with the Wanawadi police station in Pune. No complaint has so far been registered by Chavan’s family. (ANI)

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West Bengal number one in human trafficking cases, comes second in highest rape cases: Nadda

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 25 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Jagat Prakash Nadda on Thursday hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stating that the state stands at number one position in human trafficking cases and comes second in highest rape cases in the country.
This comes days after the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) launched its main campaign slogan “Bangla Nijer Meyekei Chay” (Bengal wants its own daughter) for the Assembly polls which are scheduled to be held later this year.
“Bengal has the potential to lead in all aspects of life because history has taught us that what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow. However, we see gloomy darkness and pessimism creep in. The people who have ruled in the last few decades have destroyed the culture and quality of the state,” Nadda said while addressing ‘Lokkho Sonar Bangla’ intellectuals meet in Kolkata.
“Bengal stands at number one in human trafficking cases and comes second in highest rape cases. The second highest rape cases and the highest unreported rape cases are in West Bengal. The state has the third-highest number of cases as far as child marriages are concerned. This is the state of women in the state, led by a woman CM,” he added.
“In the last 30-40 years, the governments that ruled Bengal have “hurt the culture and tradition of West Bengal”, Nadda said while adding that in the last 6 years, “our Prime Minister has changed the definition of politics in the country.”
“Development is a holistic concept and cannot be seen in isolation. Without law and order, development cannot take place. Without the right education, development cannot take place. With corruption, development cannot take place. In this Union Budget, Rs 25,000 crores have been sanctioned for the Kolkata-Siliguri road to improve connectivity in the state. Also, Rs 1000 crores have been allocated for the welfare of tea garden workers,” he said.
“The East-West Metro and 3 solar projects in Bengal speaks how PM Modi wants Bengal to come forward in the field of development. He recently inaugurated projects worth Rs 4,700 crore in Haldia. In Hooghly, he flagged off projects worth Rs 3,000 crore,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Nadda launched the ‘Lokkho Sonar Bangla’ campaign to oust the ruling Trinamool Congress government from power in the state.
Nadda has said that suggestion boxes and digital raths (vehicle) will be used to collect suggestions of the people ahead of Assembly elections in the state. He added, similarly, on website www.lokkhosonarbangla.com suggestions can be given. This campaign will span between March 3 to March 20. (ANI)

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6 killed, 19 injured in firecracker plant blaze near Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi

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Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 25 (ANI): Six people were killed and more than 19 people injured in a fire that broke out a firecracker factory near Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi on Thursday, Joint Director of Health Services, Virudhunagar said.
According to locals, a loud noise was heard at the factory at around 4.30 pm today after which which fire engines from Vembakkottai, Sattur and Sivakasi were rushed to the spot.
The injured were admitted to a government hospital here.
Viruthunagar district collector said: “It is possible that the blaze could have been due to the high temperature due to the impact of the sun.”
The firecracker factory is owned by one, Thangaraj Pandian in Kalaiyarkurici village near Sivakasi. More than 50 people work here. The plant is licensed to manufacture crackers.
On February 2, over 20 people had died and around 30 injured in a major explosion in a fireworks unit at Acchankulam village near Sattur in this district. (ANI)

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Andhra CM holds meeting with officials over agenda to be discussed at South Zonal Council Meet

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Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], February 25 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday held a meeting with officials on the agenda to be discussed at the 29th Southern Zonal Council Meet.
The Southern Zonal Council Meet is scheduled on March 4 at Tirupati.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Adityanath Das, Special Chief Secretary Poonam Malakondaiah, Health Principal Secretary Anil Kumar Singhal, Women and Child welfare Secretary AR Anuradha, Energy Principal Secretary Nagulapalli Srikanth, Finance Secretary Natarajan Gulzar, Agriculture and Cooperation Special Secretary Madhusudan Reddy, Irrigation Secretary Syamala Rao, Disha Special Officer Deepika Patil and other senior officials were present at the meeting held at Chief Minister’s office.
The officials briefed the Chief Minister on the issues to be addressed at the Council regarding the State.
The Southern Zonal Council Meet will be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Puducherry and special invitees from Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep will be attending the council. (ANI)

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Criminalisation of politics is gradually decreasing but should go down further: Om Birla

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Shillong (Meghalaya) [India], February 25 (ANI): Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday said that criminalisation of politics is gradually decreasing in the country, but should go down further.
The Lok Sabha Speaker further stated that to keep a check on criminalisation in politics, the Election Commission keeps on bringing necessary legislations, adding that the Supreme Court has also given directions addressing the same.
“From time to time, the Election Commission keeps making rules and procedures on criminalisation in politics. The Supreme Court also keeps on giving directions. Certainly, it is believed that criminalisation in politics should not be there. Now, we are trying to figure out how to prevent this and I think that since the representatives are elected by the people, their decision is supreme. I believe that criminalisation in politics is gradually getting reduced and there is a need to reduce it further,” said Birla.
Birla expressed his views while speaking to ANI on reaching Shillong to attend the conference on ‘Outreach and Familiarisation Programme for the Local Bodies of the State of Meghalaya and the other North Eastern States’.
The Lok Sabha Speaker, while talking about the need to strengthen the democratic system, also emphasised on strengthening the role of the Panchayati Raj system and local bodies and making them more accountable.
He said, “there was a discussion with the members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya on how democratic systems can be used for the welfare of each and every person of the society. Tomorrow there will be a discussion with the people of Panchayati Raj, Autonomous District Council (ADC), social workers and local bodies on how we can make the role of all the elected institutions strong and accountable and how should they work with accountability so that problems can be solved through these institutions.”
Speaking about the cultural heritage of Meghalaya and the importance of the state in the development of the North-East region, Birla said, “I can say that Meghalaya is on the path of continuous progress among all the states of the North East. They have preserved the glorious cultural traditions, heritage and I can definitely say that in the coming years, Meghalaya will become a major state, not only in the North-East but also in the country, where domestic and foreign tourists will visit and we will successfully establish a tourism hub here. (ANI)

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DMK, Congress meetings like ‘corruption hackathons’, their leaders brainstorm how to loot: PM Modi

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Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed meetings of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Congress “corruption hackathons” and said the Opposition’s style of politics is based on bullying and harassing.
Addressing a public meeting on Thursday after inaugurating and laying the foundation stone of several projects, the Prime Minister said the way the NDA government at the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government have worked is a classic example of cooperative federalism.
“The nation is witnessing two distinct styles of politics today. The opposition’s misgovernance with corruption and NDA’s governance with compassion. Both methods are very different. For Opposition, what matters is personal gain. They want to be in power to fill pockets,” he said.
“DMK and Congress meetings are like Corruption Hackathons. Their leaders sit and brainstorm how to loot. Those who give the most innovative ways are given posts and ministries. The Opposition style of politics is based on bullying and harassing,” he added.
PM Modi said leaders who troubled former chief minister Jayalalitha have been rewarded by the DMK and Congress.
“Whenever they come to power, they promote a strongman culture. In every district, they have anti-social elements who trouble innocent citizens. Party cadres leave no chance to get extortion money. Women of Tamil Nadu suffer because of this. The entire Tamil Nadu knows how DMK treated Amma Jayalalitha Ji. This shows their attitude towards women. Sadly, leaders who troubled Jayalalitha Ji have been rewarded by DMK and Congress,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the DMK has lost the right to be called an All Tamil Nadu party.
“The last time they won a full majority on their own in the state was 25 years ago. Both Congress and DMK are suffering from internal contradictions. Both parties have tried to launch and relaunch their respective first families but to no success. There’s continuous family drama there! They cannot deliver good governance to Tamil Nadu,” he said.
PM Modi said the people of India have given a strong message and spoken that they want development-oriented governance in the last few years.
“This year, Tamil Nadu will elect a new government. The Assembly Elections are happening at a critical moment in Indian history. In the last few years, the people of India have given a strong message and spoken that they want development-oriented governance. People want anti-development elements to be at a distance,” he said. (ANI)

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