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SAC approves State Health Care Investment Policy

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Jammu, Mar 8: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met here on Friday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved the “State Health Care Investment Policy-2019”.
The salient features of the Policy include (i) 30% subsidy on Capital Investment to be provided for setting up of Multi Speciality Hospitals, Super Speciality Hospitals, Medical Colleges, Nursing Colleges and Paramedical Colleges.
The subsidy on Capital Investment will be limited to a maximum of Rs 3 crore in cities with population less than 10 lakh and a maximum of Rs 5 crore in cities with a population of more than 10 lakh as per 2011 census. (ii) Interest Subsidy @5% per annum on term loan subject to a ceiling of Rs 15 lakh per year for a period of five years from the date of operationalization of the project. (iii) Subsidized power tariff rates as applicable to the Industries Sector. (iv) 100% Subsidy on purchase and installation of DG sets with upper ceiling of Rs 45 lakh. (v) One time subsidy upto 25% of the cost incurred on induction training of nursing and paramedical staff will be provided by the State Government, capped at a maximum of Rs 12,000 per person. (vi) The Promoters/Investors setting up the project shall be free to establish the unit on their own property/acquired land subject to eligibility of the same as per defined land use. (vii) Allotment of land at premium rates as applicable under Industrial Policy of 2016 through land bank to be created through SIDCO & SICOP. (viii) For Multi/Super Speciality Hospitals to be set up outside Municipal Corporation limits, land up to 5 acres for 200 bedded hospitals and upto 10 acres for 500 bedded hospitals will be provided subject to the availability of land. (ix) Minimum Capital Investment required is Rs 80 crore for 200 bedded hospitals and Rs 200 crore for 500 bedded hospitals, within a period of five years. (x) Medical Colleges being set up outside Municipal Corporation limits will be provided land upto 25 acres at a token premium of Rs. 1 per kanal, subject to the availability of land. Minimum Capital Investment required will be Rs 200 crore to be made within a period of five years. (xi) Single window clearance mechanism will be adopted for processing the project proposals with final approval to be accorded by Apex Level Project Clearance Committee (ALPCC).
Under the Policy, Government may declare a well-defined geographical area as ‘Medical City’ for having potential and being conducive for development and promoting medical tourism in the state.
The State HealthCare Investment Policy-2019 aims to promote/ encourage private parties/ entrepreneurs to set up healthcare infrastructure in the state for which Government shall provide subsidies on various fronts to the entrepreneurs.
The Policy has been drafted after extensive deliberations in the health Department. The Policy is expected to improve accessibility of quality healthcare services to the people, promote establishment of hospital infrastructure, medical and allied educational infrastructure and establish Jammu and Kashmir as a destination of choice for health care service providers in the private sector, besides promoting medical tourism.
It is noteworthy to mention that private healthcare sector in the State has not come up like in other States with around 80% of the healthcare facilities being provided by the public sector. In the absence of private sector, there is huge rush of patients in the Government institutions which affects the quality of patient care available.
There are many Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Sub Centres functioning from rented buildings with some being under staffed. As per the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms, J&K still requires 69 new community Health Centres, 222 PHCs and 1396 Sub Centres. Even for implementation of Ayushmaan Bharat, Hospitals, Nursing Homes would be required in private sector for its implementation.

Elections to be held for constitution of Block Dev Councils

Jammu, Mar 8: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met here Friday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved holding of elections for constitution of Block Development Council in the State (2nd Tier), after issuance of necessary notification in this behalf in consultation with Chief Electoral Officer, J&K and as per dates to be announced by him.
Pertinent to mention that Section 27 of the J&K Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 1989, provides for constitution of a Block Development Council for every block. Every Block Development Council shall be a body headed by a Chairperson and other Members. Chairperson of the Block Development Council shall be elected by the Electoral College comprising Panchs and Sarpanchs of Halqa Panchayat falling within the Block.
The object of constituting Block Development Council is to establish second tier of PRI institutions for (i) implementation/monitoring of several Centrally Sponsored Schemes like RGSA, MGNREGA, 14th Finance Commission and other schemes transferred to Halqa Panchayats; (ii) preparation and implementation of schemes of inter-Halqa Panchayats; (iii) consolidation of Action Plans of Halqa Panchayats and their submission to the District Planning and Development Board; (iv) ensuring the inter-departmental coordination at the Block level for the implementation of various schemes.

 
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Defunct street lights? Don’t expect SMC to fix them

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Srinagar, Jun 17: Srinagar plunges into darkness soon after sunset as most of the street lights in the capital city are defunct.

This being so since Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) claims it is incapable to deal with the issue.

In absence of this basic facility, the city residents face a lot of inconvenience moving out of their homes to the markets or masjids during the evening and early morning hours.

 

Cases of burglary and dog-bites have been reported from many secluded areas where residents complain of either having defunct or no street lights.

People living in many of these poorly-lit areas feel scared to venture out of their homes in late hours.

“I prefer not to leave my home after Isha namaz. Dogs chase passersby since there is no street light in this colony,” said Bashir Ahmed, 60, a resident of Illahibagh.

SMC claims it has installed more than 40,000 street lights across the city. However, majority of them remain dysfunctional due to lack of an established electric division and less technical manpower in the corporation.

Executive Engineer SMC, Qazi Imtiyaz who looks after the Mechanical division, said: “We have nothing. Zero manpower to look after the technical faults of street lights. There is no electric division in our corporation.”

SMC Commissioner, Khursheed Ahmad Sanai said: “SMC lacks an established electric division as well as skilled staff to mend defunct street lights in Srinagar. But we are constantly making up to illuminate more areas through whatever little staff is available to us.”

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RKFC signs top English striker

More signings to follow; Club on track to become India’s football powerhouse

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, Jun 17: J&K’s premier football club, Real Kashmir FC, has signed an experienced striker from England to play for the team in the upcoming season.

Announcing on RKFC’s official Twitter handle, the club management wrote: “RKFC is delighted to announce the signing of Kallum Higginbotham from Dunfermline Athletic, Scotland. Kallum is an experienced striker who has played at the highest level in the UK. Kallum has played for top teams such as Huddersfield Town, Kilmarnock, and Motherwell.”

Former Kilmarnock frontman, Kallum, who’s originally from Salford, England, will join the club in the third week of July, club sources told The Kashmir Monitor.

 

With Rangers legend David Robertson training the team, Kallum will be the second European player to play for RKFC after the coach’s son Mason.

The club finished third in the I-League last season in their first campaign in the top flight.

Terming it as an important signing, club’s co-owner, Sandeep Chattoo said: “Today’s signing of Kallum shows our intent that we mean business. We will leave no stone unturned to make RKFC a powerhouse of football not just in India but Asia. In coming days we will unveil more top signings. As a co-owner, I want to tell the fans that we will do whatever we can to play top class breathtaking football next season. RKFC is not just a football team. It’s the heartbeat of the state. For me personally it’s a project. We have just completed phase one. Lot more to follow.”

Head Coach David Robertson had a similar viewpoint on Kallum’s inclusion in the club: “Signing player of Kallum’s experience and quality is a huge statement and shows continued ambition of Real Kashmir. He will give us an extra edge upfront and can also play in various roles within the team. Our team is shaping up nicely and we are all eager and excited for the start of the new campaign.”

President J&K Football Association, Zameer Thakur congratulated the team on the signing.

“We welcome this signing and hope that RKFC will not just maintain but improve its last season’s performance in the upcoming one,” he told The Kashmir Monitor. 

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Overall nuclear arms decline but India, Pak, China expanding arsenal

Press Trust of India

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Stockholm, Jun 17: The overall number of nuclear warheads in the world has declined in the past year but nations are modernising their arsenals, a report published Monday said.

At the start of 2019, the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea had a total of some 13,865 nuclear weapons, according to estimates in a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

That represents a decrease of 600 nuclear weapons compared to the start of 2018.

 

But at the same time all nuclear weapon-possessing countries are modernising these arms ¬– and China, India and Pakistan are also increasing the size of their arsenals.

“The world is seeing fewer but newer weapons,” Shannon Kile, director of the SIPRI Nuclear Arms Control Programme and one of the report’s authors, told AFP.

The drop in recent years can mainly be attributed to the US and Russia, whose combined arsenals still make up more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

This is in part due to the countries fulfilling their obligations under the New START treaty — which puts a cap on the number of deployed warheads and was signed by the US and Russia in 2010 — as well as getting rid of obsolete warheads from the Cold War era.

The START treaty is however due to expire in 2021, which Kile said was worrying since there are currently “no serious discussions underway about extending it”.

Next year the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) — considered the cornerstone of the world’s nuclear order — turns 50.

The number of nuclear arms has been drastically reduced since a peak in the mid-1980s when there were some 70,000 nuclear warheads in the world.

While Kile said progress should not be underestimated, he also noted a number of worrying trends, such as the build-up of nuclear arms on both sides of the border between India and Pakistan, and the danger of a conventional conflict escalating to a nuclear one.

There is also a more general trend towards an “increased salience” of nuclear weapons, where changing strategic doctrines, particularly in the US, are giving nuclear weapons an expanded role in both military operations and national security dialogue, Kile said.

“I think the trend is moving away from where we were five years ago, where the world’s nuclear weapons were being marginalised,” Kile said.

Former UN chief Ban Ki-moon recently urged nuclear powers to “get serious” about disarmament and warned there was a “very real risk” that decades of work on international arms control could collapse following the US pullout of the Iran nuclear deal, which he said sent the wrong signal to North Korea.

Global disarmament efforts also suffered a blow when the United States announced in February it would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, prompting Russia to say it would also suspend its participation.

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