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Ayushman Bharat scheme: National Health Agency issues circular advising states to identify eligible beneficiaries

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New Delhi |  The National Health Agency (NHA), responsible for implementing the PMJAY, in a circular has advised states to authorise district collectors and district magistrates to identify eligible beneficiaries under the scheme.

The move comes amid reports of names of some people, who do not fall in the specified deprivation categories of the SECC data, figuring in the list of eligible beneficiaries.

The NHA has asked the officers to introduce exclusion clauses in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) data to identify those not eligible for the scheme

The Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan (AB-PM JAY), was launched pan-India by the Prime Minister from Jharkhand on September 23.

The scheme aims to provide a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10.74 crore poor families for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through a network of empanelled health care providers.

The circular stated that the SECC 2011 is a study of the socioeconomic status of rural and urban households that allows ranking of households based on predefined parameters.

It was conducted under the overall coordination of the Department of Rural Development. The data is based on the 2011 SECC riding over National Population Register demographics.

Households having motorized two, three or four wheeler, fishing boat, mechanized three or four wheelers agricultural equipment, Kisan Credit Card with a credit limit of above Rs 50,000 and in which a member is a government employee and households with non-agricultural enterprises registered with the government are automatically excluded, as per SECC 2011.

Those having a member earning more than Rs 10,000 per month, paying income tax, professional tax, three or more rooms with pucca walls and roof, a refrigerator, a landline phone are also excluded, it said.

Households owning more than 2.5 acres of irrigated land with one irrigation equipment, owning five acres or more of irrigated land for two or more crop season, owning at least 7.5 acres of land or more with at least one irrigation equipment are also excluded, according to SECC 2011.

“This study was conducted in 2011, an additional data collection drive was undertaken to update family data. However, there may still be some glaring instances, where some of those who have to be automatically excluded, are figuring in the list of eligible beneficiaries,” the circular said.

There also could be families with one or more members as government employees or elected representative, it said.

“In such cases, states are advised to authorise the district collectors/ district magistrates or deputy commissioners to exclude such beneficiaries from the eligible list.

“This should be done on the basis of written representation and after a due summary inquiry is conducted into each particular case,” the circular added.

For urban areas, the 11 occupational criteria will determine entitlement. These categories of workers are rag pickers; beggars; domestic workers; street vendors; cobblers, hawkers and other service providers working on streets; construction workers, plumbers, masons, labourers, painters, welders, security guards, coolies and other head-load workers and sanitation workers, it said.

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Eight cattle smugglers arrested in Uttar Pradesh

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Cow; cattle

Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh) | Eight suspected cattle smugglers were arrested here when they were trying to move the livestock to Nepal, police said on Saturday.

Superintendent of Police Gaurav Grover said the police were tipped off about the smuggling in Rupaidiha and Nanpare area of the district which is close to the India-Nepal border.

On Friday, eight cattle smugglers, four of them history-sheeters, were arrested, while they were trying to flee to Nepal, he said. The members of the smugglers’ gang had also unsuccessfully tried to attack the policemen, the SP said.

He said four animals cows, unlicensed pistol, ammunition and a transportation vehicle have been recovered from the arrested accused.

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7 civilians among 11 killed in encounter, protests in J&K’s Pulwama

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Jammu and Kashmir; civilians

Srinagar | Seven civilians died in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district Saturday when security forces allegedly opened fire at an unruly crowd that tried to storm the site of an encounter in which three militants and Army man were killed, police said.

The incident took place at Sirnoo village in the morning when the security forces laid siege to a locality based on intelligence reports about the presence of three militants, including an Army deserter – Zahoor Ahmad Thoker, in the area, police officials said.

As soon as the news about Thoker being trapped in an encounter spread, people started thronging the encounter site as the army deserter belonged to the same village, they said. Though the encounter ended in 25 minutes with the killing of the three militants, the security forces had a tough time as people started climbing onto Army vehicles, the officials said.

They said warning shots were fired but that did not deter the mob, forcing the security forces to open fire at the civilians. Seven civilians were killed and dozens of others injured, including a youth who’s condition was stated to be critical. Thoker had gone missing from an Army unit in the Gantmulla area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district in July last year.

He had decamped with his service rifle and three magazines and had joined the militant ranks. The security forces said Thoker was involved in several killings in Pullman district. The identities of two other militants were being ascertained.

The officials said an army jawan lost his life in the gunfight, while two other soldiers were critical. Authorities have snapped mobile internet facility in entire south Kashmir comprising four districts.

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President Kovind visits Statue of Unity, to lay foundation for railway station

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Kevadiya (Gujarat) |President Ram Nath Kovind Saturday visited the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue, in Narmada district of Gujarat on the death anniversary of India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai
Patel.

Kovind, accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and state chief secretary J N Singh, began his visit in the morning by taking a stroll at the ‘Valley of Flowers’ developed near the 182-metre tall statue here. After planting a tree in memory of Patel, the president attended a prayer meeting at the statue complex.

The world’s tallest statue dedicated to Patel was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October. After offering tributes to Patel, Kovind visited the museum and exhibition area beneath the statue. He also visited the viewing gallery located at a height of 132 metres inside the statue.

Kovind then left the statue premises and headed to Kevadiya village, around 5 kms from the statue, to lay the
foundation stone for a railway station. The state-of-the-art railway station proposed to be built at a cost of Rs 20 crore, is aimed at providing direct rail connectivity to tourists visiting the Statue of Unity.

To connect Kevadiya with the main broad-gauge line, the Railways has sanctioned the work to convert 18-km
Dabhoi-Chandod narrow gauge into broad gauge and extension from Chandod to Kevadia by constructing a new 32-km line.

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