As per the second update of the Annual Health Survey (AHS), all major health indicators in the country’s worst-performing States are showing a gradual improvement over the years but inter-State variations persist.
About 2nd update of Annual Health Survey (AHS)
- Objective: To monitor the performance and outcome of various health interventions of the Government including those under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) at closer intervals through benchmark indicators
- In 284 districts of nine states survey was conducted.
- States: Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Assam.
- These states account for about 48 % of the total population in the country.
Highlights of the Annual Health Survey (AHS)
(a)Crude Birth Rate (CBR) and Crude Death Rate (CDR):-
- Minimum CBR: Bageshwar (14.7) in Uttarakhand.
- Maximum CBR: Shrawasti (40.9) in Uttar Pradesh.
- CBR in rural areas of districts is higher than that in urban areas.
- Minimum CDR: Dhemaji (4.5) in Assam.
- Low female death rates have also been observed as compared to male death rates.
(b)Infant Mortality Rate (IMR):-
- Minimum IMR: Rudraprayag (19) in Uttarkhand.
- Maximum IMR: Shrawasti (103) in Uttar Pradesh.
- Districts achieved the MDG -4 National target of 28 by 2015: Purbi Singhbhum & Dhanbad (Jharkhand) and Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Pithoragarh & Almora (Uttarakhand).
- Four districts viz. Bokaro & Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Bageshwar & Nainital (Uttarakhand) are in closer vicinity to achieve the MDG-4 National target.
- IMR in rural areas of districts is significantly higher than that in urban areas.
(c)Neo-Natal Mortality Rate (NNMR):-
- Minimum NNMR: Rudraprayag (11), Uttarkhand.
- Maximum NNMR: Balangir (75) in Odisha.
- Rural NNMR in districts is significantly higher than the urban.
(d)Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR):-
- Minimum U5MR: Pithoragarh district (24), Uttarakhand.
- Maximun U5MR: Kandhmal district (145), Odisha.
- Districts achieved the MDG -4 National target of 42 by 2015: Pithoragarh, Almora, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Nainital & Bagheswar (Uttarakhand) and Purbi Singhbhum (Jharkhand).
- 10 districts viz. Dhanbad, Bokaro, Kodarma, Hazaribagh & Giridih (Jharkhand) and Kota (Rajasthan) and Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar, Dehradun & Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand) are in closer vicinity to achieve the MDG-4 National target.
- Rural U5MR in districts is significantly higher than the urban.
(e) Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR):-
- Minimum MMR: Kumaon HQ (183) in Uttarakhand.
- Maximum MMR: Faizabad Mandal (451) in UP.
(f) Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB)
- Minimum SRB: Pithoragarh district (764), Uttarakhand.
- Maximum SRB: Moradabad district (1034), Uttar Pradesh.
- Crude Birth Rate (CBR) denotes live births per 1000 population and Crude Death Rate (CDR) denotes number of deaths per 1000 population.
- Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) denotes the number of infant deaths (age below one year) per 1000 live births.
- Neo-Natal Mortality Rate (NNMR) measures the number of infant deaths (age below 29 days) per 1,000 live births.
- Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) denotes the number of children who died before reaching their fifth birthday per 1,000 live births.
- Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) measures the proportion of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births.
- Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) defined as the number of female live births per 1,000 male live births.
Outcome of the survey: These indicators would provide requisite inputs for better planning of health programmes and pave the way for evidence based intervention strategies.
- ICICI Bank is the first private sector bank to launch Mobile Branch with ATM
About ‘Branch on Wheels’ – mobile branch with an ATM.
- First-of-its-kind initiative by any private sector bank in India.
- Objective: To provide basic banking services to the remote unbanked villages in the state.
- The branch would be operated on a van. It will be stationed at specific timings of the day in pre-identified, unbanked villages at specified locations.
- Would be equipped with a GPS tracking system, laptops with 3G connections, LED TV, a safe, a printer, public announcement system, an UV Lamp that detects forged cheques, a note counting-cum-authentication machine that identifies fake currency notes and a unique low-weight ATM.
- Offers a wide range of banking products and services viz. savings accounts, loans, cash deposit/withdrawal, account balance enquiries, statement printing and funds transfer/DD/PO collections, among others.
Note: Odisha is the third state where ICICI Bank has expanded its ‘Branch on Wheels’ network after Maharashtra in September 2013 and Chhatisgarh in February 2014.
About M-Pesa service
- A mobile money transfer and payment service that allows customers to transfer money to any mobile phone, remit money to any bank account, make utility payments, recharge of mobile, DTH payment and earn interest on deposits.
- Empowers the un-banked and under-banked sections of the population gain access to financial services through the mobile phone.
- This service will now be available across 202 Tehsils, 24 Districts through 1350 specially trained authorized agents including 73 Vodafone exclusive stores in Odisha.
Apart from Odisha, ‘M-Pesa’ has been rolled out in Delhi, Mumbai, West Bengal, Punjab, UP East, UP West, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Assam & North East and Haryana. It will be made available across the country in a phased manner.
The Union Cabinet gave its nod for classifying Odia as a classical language to give impetus to scholarships in the language. It is the sixth Indian language to get such prestigious tag after Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.
There has been a long-standing demand that Odia, which is one of the oldest languages and has no resemblance to Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, Telugu, etc, be declared as a classical language.
What is a ‘Classical Language’ ?
A classical language is a language with a literature (art of written work) that is classical. U.C.Berkeley linguist George L. Hart defined Classical Language as follows:
“It should be ancient, it should be an independent tradition that arose mostly on its own, not as an offshoot of another tradition, and it must have a large and extremely rich body of ancient literature.”
Classical languages are those which are ancient, of an independent nature and not a derivative of any other tradition. And based on above, Chinese, Sanskrit, Tamil, Hebrew, Greek and Latin are considered as the Classical Languages of the World. Of these only Chinese and Tamil are used by masses now.
In India, Tamil was the first to gain the Classical Language status, followed by Sanskrit in 2005. These two languages (Tamil and Sanskrit) are undoubtedly parental sources for many languages belonging to the Indo-European family and the Dravidian family of linguistic groups.
- (i) High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years;
- (ii) A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers;
- (iii) The literary tradition should be original and not borrowed from another speech community;
- (iv) The classical language and literature being distinct from the modern, there may also be discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or offshoots.
A committee of linguistic experts followed it up, and based on its recommendation classical status was conferred on Telugu and Kannada in 2008. Thus, the definition of classical languages has undergone several changes over the years and the latest criterion too is susceptible to changes.
Benefits of declaring Odia as classical language
- Two major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in Odia language.
- A ‘Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Languages’ can be set up.
- The University Grants Commission can be requested to create, to start with at least in Central Universities, a certain number of professional chairs for classical languages, for scholars of eminence in Odia language.
Which are the Classical Languages of India?
Languages thus far declared to be Classical are:
- Tamil (2004)
- Sanskrit (2005)
- Kannada (2008)
- Telugu (2008)
- Malayalam (2013)
- Odia (2014)