Recently, the Indian Railways announced rationalisation of freight fares. This rationalisation will result in an 8.75% increase in freight rates for major commodities such as coal, iron and steel, iron ore, and raw materials for steel plants.
The freight rates were rationalised to ensure additional revenue generation across the network. An additional revenue of Rs 3,344 crore is expected from such rationalisation, which will be utilised to improve passenger amenities. In addition, the haulage charge of containers has been increased by 5% and the freight rates of other small goods have been increased by 8.75%.
Freight rates have not been increased for goods such as food grains, flours, pulses, fertilisers, salt, and sugar, cement, petroleum, and diesel. In light of this, we discuss some issues around Railways’ freight pricing.
Railways’ sources of internal revenue Railways earns its internal revenue primarily from passenger and freight traffic. In 2016-17 (latest actual figures available), freight and passenger traffic contributed to about 63% and 28% of the internal revenue, respectively. The remaining is earned from miscellaneous sources such as parcel service, coaching receipts, and platform tickets.
Freight traffic: Railways majorly transports bulk freight, and the freight basket has mostly been limited to include raw materials for certain industries such as power plants, and iron and steel plants. It generates most of its freight revenue from the transportation of coal (43%), followed by cement (8%), food-grains (7%), and iron and steel (7%). In 2018-19, Railways expects to earn Rs 1,21,950 crore from its freight traffic.
Passenger traffic: Passenger traffic is broadly divided into two categories: suburban and non-suburban traffic. Suburban trains are passenger trains that cover short distances of up to 150 km, and help move passengers within cities and suburbs. Majority of the passenger revenue (94% in 2017-18) comes from the non-suburban traffic (or the long-distance trains).
Within non-suburban traffic, second class (includes sleeper class) contributes to 67% of the non-suburban revenue. AC class (includes AC 3-tier, AC Chair Car and AC sleeper) contributes to 32% of the non-suburban revenue. The remaining 1% comes from AC First Class (includes Executive class and First Class).
Railways’ ability to generate its own revenue has been slowing The growth rate of Railways’ earnings from its core business of running freight and passenger trains has been declining. This is due to a decline in the growth of both freight and passenger traffic. Some of the reasons for such decline include:
Freight traffic growth has been declining, and is limited to a few items Growth of freight traffic has been declining over the last few years. It has declined from around 8% in the mid-2000s to a 4% negative growth in mid-2010s, before an estimated recovery to about 5% now.
The National Transport Development Policy Committee (2014) had noted various issues with freight transportation on railways. For example, Indian Railways does not have an institutional arrangement to attract and aggregate traffic of smaller parcel size. Further, freight services are run with a focus on efficiency instead of customer satisfaction. Consequently, it has not been able to capture high potential markets such as FMCGs, hazardous materials, or automobiles and containerised cargo. Most of such freight is transported by roads.
The freight basket is also limited to a few commodities, most of which are bulk in nature. For example, coal contributes to about 43% of freight revenue and 25% of the total internal revenue. Therefore, any shift in transport patterns of any of these bulk commodities could affect Railways’ finances significantly.
For example, if new coal based power plants are set up at pit heads (source of coal), then the need for transporting coal through Railways would decrease. If India’s coal usage decreases due to a shift to more non-renewable sources of energy, it will reduce the amount of coal being transported. Such situations could have a significant adverse impact on Railways’ revenue.
Freight traffic cross-subsidises passenger traffic In 2014-15, while Railways’ freight business made a profit of about Rs 44,500 crore, its passenger business incurred a net loss of about Rs 33,000 crore.17 The total passenger revenue during this period was Rs 49,000 crore. This implies that losses in the passenger business are about 67% of its revenue. Therefore, in 2014-15, for every one rupee earned in its passenger business, Indian Railways ended up spending Rs 1.67.
These losses occur across both suburban and non-suburban operations, and are primarily caused due to: (i) passenger fares being lower than the costs, and (ii) concessions to various categories of passengers. According to the NITI Aayog (2016), about 77% to 80% of these losses are contributed by non-suburban operations (long-distance trains). Concessions to various categories of passengers contribute to about 4% of these losses, and the remaining (73-76%) is due to fares being lower than the system costs.
The NITI Aayog (2016) had noted that Railways ends up using profits from its freight business to provide for such losses in the passenger segment, and also to manage its overall financial situation. Such cross-subsidisation has resulted in high freight tariffs. The NTDPC (2014) had noted that, in several countries, passenger fares are either higher or almost equal as freight rates. However, in India, the ratio of passenger fare to freight rate is about 0.3.
Impact of increasing freight rates The recent freight rationalisation further increases the freight rates for certain key commodities by 8.75%, with an intention to improve passenger amenities. Higher freight tariffs could be counter-productive towards growth of traffic in the segment. The NTDPC report had noted that due to such high tariffs, freight traffic has been moving to other modes of transport. Further, the higher cost of freight segment is eventually passed on to the common public in the form of increased costs of electricity, steel, etc. Various experts have recommended that Railways should consider ways to rationalise freight and passenger tariff distortions in a way to reduce such cross-subsidisation.
About the Sangai festival: What is it? Sangai Festival is an annual cultural extravaganza in Manipur. The festival is labelled as the grandest festival of the State today and helps promote Manipur as a world class tourism destination. Every edition of the festival showcases the tourism potential of the state in the field of Arts & Culture, Handloom, Handicrafts, Indigenous Sports, Cuisine, Music and Adventure sports of the state etc.
Background: The ‘Festival’ is named after the State animal, Sangai, the brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur. It started in the year 2010 and has grown over the years into a big platform for Manipur to showcase its rich tradition and culture to the world.
Focus areas: The festival will reflect the State’s proud cultural heritage and the love for art which is inherent amongst various tribes inhabiting the State of Manipur. The State’s classical dance form, ‘Ras Leela’ is quite famous all over the world for its distinctiveness from any other dance forms in India. The Ras Leela will form an important part of the dance performances at the Manipur Sangai Festival besides the various other folk dance performances like the Kabui Naga dance, Bamboo dance, Maibi dance, Lai Haraoba dance, Khamba Thoibi dance etc. which will be showcased at the festival.
Indigenous sports will also be a major highlight of the State’s biggest tourism festival this year. Manipur’s famous martial arts- Thang Ta (a combination Spear & Sword skills), Yubi-Lakpi (a game played with greased coconut like rugby), Mukna Kangjei (a game that combines hockey and wrestling), and Sagol Kangjei- Modern Polo (believed to have evolved in Manipur) will all form part of the festival.
Sangai Deer: The sangai is an endemic and endangered subspecies of brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur, India. It is found in its natural habitat only at Keibul Lamjao National Park over the floating biomass locally called “phumdi” in the south eastern part of Loktak Lake. Its IUCN status: Endangered.
Key facts: The Kartarpur corridor will be implemented as an integrated development project with Government of India funding, to provide smooth and easy passage, with all the modern amenities.
Government of India will put in place suitable facilities for smooth passage of pilgrims. Government of Pakistan will be urged to recognize the sentiments of the Sikh community and to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in their territory as well.
The shrine: The gurdwara in Kartarpur stands on the bank of the Ravi, about 120 km northeast of Lahore. It was here that Guru Nanak assembled a Sikh community and lived for 18 years until his death in 1539. The shrine is visible from the Indian side, as Pakistani authorities generally trim the elephant grass that would otherwise obstruct the view. Indian Sikhs gather in large numbers for darshan from the Indian side, and binoculars are installed at Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak.
Access to gurdwaras in Pakistan: Sikh jathas from India travel to Pakistan on four occasions every year — for Baisakhi, the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev, the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev. These Indian pilgrims are given access to all gurdwaras in Pakistan.
Complex issue: The “corridor” would bring Pak infrastructure right up to the Indian border. Over the past year, gurdwaras in Pakistan have been used for a pro-Khalistan campaign. Earlier this year, a gurdwara displayed posters and distributed pamphlets for the so-called “Sikh Referendum 2020”, and Pakistan denied permission to the Indian envoy and diplomats to visit it. Pakistan’s intent also remains suspect, and Indian officials are wary of the corridor being misused by both state and non-state actors in that country.
For prompt disposal of complaints on SHe-Box, each case goes directly to the central/ state authority concerned having jurisdiction to take action in the matter. Cases on She-Box can be monitored by the complainants and Ministry WCD, reducing the time taken in case disposal.
About SHe-box: What is it? It is an online complaint management system for registering complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace. It was launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The complaint management system has been developed to ensure the effective implementation of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013.
How it works? Once a complaint is submitted to the portal, it will be directly sent to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the concerned Ministry/Department/PSU/Autonomous Body etc. having jurisdiction to inquire into the complaint. Through this portal, WCD as well as complainant can monitor the progress of inquiry conducted by the ICC.
Significance of the portal: This portal is an initiative to provide a platform to women working or visiting any office of Central Government (Central Ministries, Departments, Public Sector Undertakings, Autonomous Bodies and Institutions etc.) to file complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace under the SH Act. Those who had already filed a written complaint with the concerned Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) constituted under the SH Act are also eligible to file their complaint through this portal. It is also an effort to provide speedier remedy to women facing sexual harassment at workplace as envisaged under the SH Act.
Terms of references of the Commission are as follows: To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes/ communities included in the broad category of OBCs, with reference to the OBCs included in the Central list.
To work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters, in a scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs.
To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes/communities/ sub-castes/ synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.
Is sub-categorisation permissible under the law? The Supreme Court in its order in Indra Sawhney and others vs. Union of India observed that there is no Constitutional or legal bar to a State categorizing backward classes as backward or more backward and had further observed that if a State chooses to do it (sub-categorization), it is not impermissible in law.
How are OBC reservations offered at present? At present, there is a single Central OBC list, with entries from each State. People belonging to all of these castes can seek reservation from within the single 27% OBC reservation pie for Central government jobs and Central educational institutions. Nine States, however, have already sub-categorised OBCs. These are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. OBC reservation became a reality after the implementation of the Mandal Commission report, which categorised many castes as constituting backward classes and deserving of quotas. New castes have been added to the list over the years.
Need for subcategorization: Sub categorization of the OBCs will ensure that the more backward among the OBC communities can also access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs.
At present, many feel that the more advanced OBC castes corner the lion’s share of the benefits and have become influential. Not only will such a move offer more opportunities to the most backward castes among the OBCs but also give the government and the ruling party an opportunity to carve out a new political constituency.
Highlights of the Bill: It provides for the Establishment of a Central and corresponding State Allied and HealthcareCouncils; 15 major professional categories including 53 professions in Allied and Healthcare streams.
The Bill provides for Structure, Constitution, Composition and Functions of the Central Council and State Councils, g. Framing policies andstandards, Regulation of professional conduct, Creation and maintenanceof live Registers, provisions for common entry and exit examinations, etc.
The Central Council will comprise 47 members, of which 14 members shall be ex-officio representing diverse and related roles and functions andremaining 33 shall be non-ex-officio members who mainly represent the 15professional categories.
The State Councils are also envisioned to mirror the Central Council,comprising 7 ex-officio and 21 non-ex officio members and Chairperson tobe elected from amongst the non-ex officio members. Professional Advisory Bodies under Central and State Councils will examine issues independently and provide recommendations relating to specific recognised categories.
The Bill will also have an overriding effect on any other existing law for any of the covered professions.
The State Council will undertake recognition of allied and healthcare institutions. Offences and Penalties clause have been included in the Bill to check malpractices.
The Bill also empowers the Central and State Governments to make rules. Central Govt. also has the power to issue directions to the Council, to make regulations and to add or amend the schedule.
Major Impact, including employment generation potential: Bring all existing allied and healthcare professionals on board during thefirst few of years from the date of establishment of the Council. Opportunity to create qualified, highly skilled and competent jobs inhealthcare by enabling professionalism of the allied and healthcare workforce.
High quality, multi-disciplinary care in line with the vision of AyushmanBharat, moving away from a ‘doctor led’ model to a ‘care accessible and team based’ model.
Opportunity to cater to the global demand (shortage) of healthcareworkforce which is projected to be about 15 million by the year 2030, asper the WHO Global Workforce, 2030 report.
Number of beneficiaries: It is estimated that the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 will directly benefit around 8-9 Lakh existing Allied and Healthcare related professionals in the country and several other graduating professionals joining workforce annually and contributing to the health system. However, since this Bill is directed to strengthen the healthcare delivery system at large, it may be said that the entire population of the country and the health sector as a whole will be benefited by this Bill.
Need for this legislation: Allied and Healthcare Professionals (A&HPs) constitute an important element of the health human resource network, and the skilled and efficient Allied and Healthcare Professionals (A&HPs) can reduce the cost of care and dramatically improve the accessibility to quality driven healthcare services.
Though such professionals have existed in the Indian healthcare system for many decades, a considerable gap in the allied and healthcare space is because of a lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework and absence of standards for education and training of A&HPs. The Bill thus seeks to establish a robust regulatory framework which will play the role of a standard-setter and regulator for Allied and Healthcare professions.
Background: The Ministry of Earth Sciences has a mandate to carry out research and development activities to develop and improve capability to forecast weather, climate and natural hazard related phenomena. Towards this direction, MoES has taken several initiatives to formulate specific schemes like weather and climate modelling, monsoon-research, climate change science & climate services etc.
These schemes involve multi-institutes wherein each unit has a designated role for accomplishing the aforesaid tasks. As a result, all these schemes with specific objectives and budget are implemented in an integrated manner and are put together under the umbrella scheme “ACROSS”.
ACROSS Scheme: ACROSS scheme pertains to the atmospheric science programs of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). It addresses different aspects of weather and climate services, which includes warnings for cyclone, storm surges, heat waves, thunderstorms etc. Each of these aspects is incorporated as nine sub-schemes under the umbrella scheme “ACROSS” and is implemented in an integrated.
The ACROSS scheme consists of nine sub-programmes which are multi disciplinary and multi institutional in nature and will be implemented in an integrated manner.
As the objective of the ACROSS scheme is to provide a reliable weather and climate forecast for betterment of society, the scheme will aim at improving skill of weather and climate forecast through sustained observations, intensive R & D.
Benefits of the Scheme: The scheme will provide improved weather, climate and ocean forecast and services, thereby ensuring transfer of commensurate benefits to the various services.
It will also provide a sizable number of scientific and technical staff along with requisite administrative support, thereby generating employment.
To ensure last-mile connectivity of the weather based services to the end -user, a large number of agencies like the Krishi Vigyana Kendras of ICAR, Universities and local municipalities are roped in thus generating employment opportunities to many people.
Fisheries in India Fisheries is an important sector in India that provides employment to millions of people apart from contributing to the food security of the country. India has over 8,000 km of coastline, and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 2 million sq km, and extensive freshwater resources.
Thus, fisheries play a vital role in the economy of the country with the practice contributing about 1.07 per cent to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Fisheries in India makes up to 5.3 per cent to agriculture and allied activities.
Inland fisheries: Inland fisheries is also a vital part of fisheries in India. India’s freshwater resources consist of: Rivers and canals (197,024 km). Reservoirs (3.15 million hectares). Ponds and tanks (235 million hectares). Oxbow lakes and derelict waters (1.3 million hectares). Brackishwaters (1.24 million hectares) and estuaries (0.29 million hectares).
The inland capture fish production has increased from 192,000 tonnes in 1950 to 781,846 tonnes in 2007.
Benefits: The MoU will facilitate promotion of science & technology, strong foundation to the collaborative work through exchange of students, teachers, researchers and scientists between India and Russia.
Major Impact: The MOU will provide a mechanism in taking part in establishing relationships with-schools, universities, cultural institutions, science & technology and specialized education institutions, high-tech companies, startups and innovation centers in both countries. The activities are expected to promote creation of new scientific knowledge, generation of intellectual property, innovations and products development in both countries.
About AIM: The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
AIM is mandated to create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country and revolutionizing the innovation eco-system – touching upon the entire innovation life cycle through various programs.
WCCB has been conferred this award in Innovation category. Why WCCB has been chosen? WCCB has adopted innovative enforcement techniques that have dramatically increased enforcement of transboundary environmental crimes in India.
Notably it has developed an online Wildlife Crime Database Management System to get real time data in order to help analyze trends in crime and devise effective measures to prevent and detect wildlife crimes across India. In order to involve the public in the fight against wildlife crime, WCCB has also developed a scheme to enroll willing persons as WCCB Volunteers.
About Asia Environmental Enforcement Award: The Asia Environment Enforcement Awards publicly recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions/teams combating transboundary environmental crime in Asia.
The awards are given to outstanding individuals and/or government organizations/teams that demonstrate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to combat transboundary environmental crime in one of the following eligibility criteria areas: collaboration; impact; innovation; integrity and gender leadership.
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau: Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India under the MoEFCC, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
Under Section 38 (Z) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, it is mandated: To collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities. To disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies for immediate action so as to apprehend the criminals. To establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank.
Co-ordinate actions by various agencies in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act. Assist foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control.
It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, CITES and EXIM Policy governing such an item.
Context: President Ram Nath Kovind has unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Jubilee Park in the town of Parramatta, Sydney. The unveiling of the statue is part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Father of the Nation, which is being observed in different parts of the world.
Uttar Pradesh Government has launched Women Empowerment Resolution Campaign to develop leadership capacities in women and make them vocal for their rights. The purpose of this campaign is to ensure the empowerment of women through different programs in the state.
Under it, the women employees of the state government will go to their house to know about schemes introduced by Center and the state government for women. Issues like education, self-employment, health, sanitation and nutrition will be included under this campaign.
United Nation Environment has awarded Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India with Asia Environment Enforcement Awards, 2018 for excellence work done by the Bureau in combating transboundary environmental crime.
The award was decided by a selection panel constituted by the UN Environment. This is the second time in a row the awards are being given by UN Environment to India.
It publicly recognizes and celebrates excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions/teams combating transboundary environmental crime in Asia.
It is given to outstanding individuals and/or government organizations/teams that demonstrate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to combat transboundary environmental crime in one of the following criteria: Collaboration Impact Innovation Integrity and Gender leadership However, WCCB has been conferred this award in “Innovation” category.
WCCB has developed an online Wildlife Crime Database Management System to get real time data in order to help analyze trends in crime and devise effective measures to prevent and detect wildlife crimes across India.
This system has helped to analyze trends, and for carrying out operations like Operation SAVE KURMA, THUNDERBIRD, WILDNET, LESKNOW, BIRBIL, THUNDERSTORM, LESKNOW-II along with other enforcement agencies resulting in the arrest of 350 wildlife criminals and huge seizures of animal bones.
WCCB Volunteers: To involve the public in the fight against wildlife crime, WCCB has developed a scheme to enroll willing persons as WCCB Volunteers.
Transboundary environmental crime is a serious and growing problem. Illegal trade in wildlife is the fourth largest illegal trade globally (after drugs, counterfeiting and human trafficking). It undermines food security, harms economies, devastates livelihoods, fuels terrorism, and comprises ecosystems on which humans depend.
Asia remains one of the world’s largest dumping grounds for illegally traded chemicals and waste.
Public officials and institutions/teams working on environmental enforcement issues are on the front-line of efforts to combat transboundary environmental crime. The 2018 Awards will recognize and celebrate their critical role in doing so.
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare at his inaugural address on Fifth World Fisheries Day, said that under the Blue Revolution scheme, 29,128 hectares has been developed for aquaculture and fishermen are being benefitted. And 7441 traditional boats have been modernized and converted into motorized boats.
The Blue Revolution mission aims at doubling the income of farmers and in the last four & half years, Rs. 1915.33 crore has been released for the implementation of Blue Revolution Schemes.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF): It creates employment opportunities to over 9.40 lakhs fishers/fishermen/ fisher folks and other entrepreneurs in fishing and allied activities. It attracts private investment in creation and management of fisheries infrastructure facilities.
It helps in the creation of fisheries infrastructure facilities both in marine and inland fisheries sectors, which would boast fish production and help achieve target of Rs. 15 million tonne by 2020 under Blue revolution.
It aims to achieve a sustainable growth of 8% to 9% in a move to augment fish production to the level of about 20 million tonnes by 2022-23.
It is celebrated to commemorate the event of meeting of the working fishermen and women representing ‘World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers’ from 18 countries in New Delhi on November 21, 1997.
World Fisheries Forum (WFF): It was established to advocate a global mandate of sustainable fishing practices and policies.
World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers (WFF): It is an international organization that brings together small scale fisher organization for the establishment and upholding of fundamental human rights, social justice and culture of artisanal/small scale fish harvesters and fish workers, affirming the sea as source of all life and committing themselves to sustain fisheries and aquatic resources for the present and future generations to protect their livelihoods.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has linked She-Box, the online portal to report complaints of Sexual Harassment at Workplace, to all the Central Ministries, Departments and 653 districts across 33 States/Union Territories.
The portal can be accessed at the following link: http://shebox.nic.in/ She-Box portal: An effort to provide speedy remedy to women facing sexual harassment at workplace. Once a complaint is submitted, it will be directly sent to the section of the employer concerned.
Here, both the WCD and the complainant can monitor the progress of the inquiry. Those who have already filed a written complaint with the concerned Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) or Local Complaint Committee (LCC) constituted under the Sexual Harassment Act are also eligible to file their complaint through this portal.
Handbook and Training Module on the Sexual Harassment Act: The Ministry has published a Handbook and Training Module to provide information about the provisions of the Act in easy to use practical manner.
The private organizations are encouraged to customize the Training Module as per their extant service rules and disciplinary procedures prescribed therein.
Background: This is a proactive step taken in the wake of the worldwide campaign #MeToo, where women have related their experience of facing sexual harassment and abuse at workplace.
The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of an Allied and Healthcare Council of India and corresponding State Allied and Healthcare Councils which will play the role of standard-setters and facilitators for professions of Allied and Healthcare.
Features of the Central and State Allied and Healthcare Councils: It includes 15 major professional categories including 53 professions in Allied and Healthcare streams. The Professional Advisory Bodies under Central and State Councils will examine issues in detail and provide recommendations relating to specific recognized categories.
The Allied and Healthcare Professionals (A&HPs) constitute an important element of the health human resource network. And it can reduce the cost of care and dramatically improve the accessibility to quality driven healthcare services.
Additional Benefits of the Allied and Healthcare Council: It will bring all existing allied and healthcare professionals on board within a few years from the date of establishment of the Council. It provides an opportunity to create qualified, highly skilled and competent manpower in healthcare and enable professionalism of the allied and healthcare workforce.
It paves the way for high quality multi-disciplinary care in line with the vision of “Ayushman Bharat”. Ayushman Bharat: It is an attempt to move from sectoral and segmented approach of health service delivery to a comprehensive need-based health care service.
It aims to undertake path breaking interventions to holistically address health (covering prevention, promotion and ambulatory care), at primary, secondary and tertiary level.
Background: Globally, Allied and Healthcare Professionals attend undergraduate degree programme to begin with and may attain up to PhD level qualification in their respective streams. However, in India, the institutions which provide such courses, lack standardization.
Many countries possess a statutory licensing or regulatory body to license and certify the qualifications and competence of such professionals, particularly those involved in direct patient care (like physiotherapist, nutritionist, etc.) or those whose occupation impact patient care directly (like lab technologists, dosimetrists, etc.).
Though such professionals have existed in Indian healthcare system for decades, a certain gap in the allied and healthcare space is there due to lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework and absence of standards for education and training of A&HPs.