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NITI Aayog launches SATH Program

NITI Aayog has launched SATH-‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital’ with the State Governments for furthering the agenda of cooperative federalism. 

Salient Highlights

NITI Aayog under the SATH initiative plans to identify and build three future ‘role model’ states for health systems.  

After identification of three states, NITI Aayog will work in close collaboration with the state machinery of these three states. It will help in designing a robust roadmap, develop a program governance structure, establish monitoring and tracking mechanisms, and provide support to the state institutions to achieve the end objectives.

SATH program will be implemented by NITI Aayog along with McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium.

Selection of States 

For selecting three model states, NITI Aayog spelled out three-stage process, namely, expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to health sector reforms.

Subsequently, 16 states expressed interest in the initiative out of which 14 states presented their project proposals-Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

From these four states, NITI Aayog has shortlisted 5 states. After subsequent screening and evaluations, three states will be selected. Parameters such as MMR, IMR, incidence of malaria will be considered for determining potential impact, and metrics such as density of doctors and nurses, compliance to IPHS norms will be used to determine likelihood of success.

The program will be launched after signing of MoUs with these three selected states.

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog is essentially an advisory body that seeks to provide critical directional and strategic inputs across spectrum of key elements of policy to the centre as well as states. The Government of India has established Niti Ayog as a “Think Tank” which has no power to impose policies. By establishing Niti Ayog the government wants to be an “enabler” and leaves the impetus to provide a platform for cooperative and competitive federalism to the newly established body.

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India, Australia sign six agreements

India and Australia have singed six agreements in various fields such as terrorism, sports, health, environment, aviation sector to boost bilateral cooperation.

These agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull after delegation level talks.

Signed MoUs are
  • MoU on Cooperation in Sports.
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine.
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Environment, Climate and Wildlife.
  • MoU for Promotion and Development of Cooperation in Civil Aviation Security
  • MoU on Cooperation in Combatting International Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime.
  • Implementation arrangement between ISRO and Geoscience Australia on Cooperation in Earth Observation and Satellite Navigation.
Highlights of delegation level talks
  • Both countries sought to provide a boost to trade and security ties including counterterrorism cooperation.
  • Trade deal: Both countries could not conclude negotiations for Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) which they have been negotiating.
  • Uranium Supply: Australia held that ready to supply uranium to India as soon as possible. Both countries had signed civil nuclear cooperation in 2013 but actual supply has not yet commenced due to absence of any commercial contract.
  • NSG membership: Australia will spport for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and also for Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement, the two export control regimes.
  • Maritime security: Both countries agreed share common interests in ensuring maritime security and the safety of sea lines of communication.
  • They also recognised importance of freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce, resolving maritime disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS.
  • Defence: Both countries agreed to remain strongly committed to the breadth of their defence ties and recalled the Special Forces Bilateral Exercise conducted in October 2016.
  • They agreed that the bilateral maritime exercise first held in the Bay of Bengal in 2015 will be repeated off Western Australia in the first half of 2018. They took decision for first bilateral Army-to-Army exercise to take place in 2018.
  • They also agreed to look forward to the inaugural secretaries’ defence and foreign affairs dialogue in the ‘2+2’ format as a new mechanism to build on the deep strategic partnership.

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Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Senegal in Health and Medicine

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Senegal in the field of Health and Medicine.

Both countries will set up a Working Group to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.

The main areas of cooperation under MoU
  • Integrated Disease Surveillance.
  • Medical Research.
  • Hospital Management.
  • Emergency Relief.
  • Drugs and Pharmaceutical products and hospital equipments.
  • AIDS Control.
  • Traditional Medicine.
  • Any other areas of mutual interest.

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