US army kills Iranian Commander Soleimani: India’s Concerns

On January 3, 2020, the US army killed Iran’s most powerful military commander General Qasem Soleimani. He was killed at Baghdad airport.


In a drone strike held by the US force at Baghdad airport, the Iranian Commander was killed along with other Iran supported militia heads. Under his leadership Iran had expanded its military presence in Syria and Iraq.

India’s Concerns

The region where the air strike was held is an extended neighborhood that houses 7 million Indians. These Overseas Citizens residing in Iran send valuable foreign remittance. India is also worried about the impact of the tensions on international fuel prices that soared by 4% on the very same day.

India is not purchasing oil from Iran at present. In May 2019, India stopped purchasing oil from Iran following US sanctions. However, unrest in the region will impact the oil imports from Saudi Arabia. This is because most of the imports to India from Saudi Arabia takes place through Strait of Hormuz controlled by Iran. Saudi Arabia is the second largest oil supplier of India after Iraq. In 2018-19, Saudi Arabia supplied 40.33 million tons of crude oil.

Also, the tensions could impact India’s trade with the region. India’s trade with the region now stands at 78 billion USD. The trade in the region is predominantly with the Gulf Cooperation Members that includes Kuwait, Saudi-Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

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171 Hospitals de-empanelled under Ayushman Bharat Scheme

On January 3, 2020, around 171 hospitals were de-empanelled by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for committing fraud. The Ministry had also imposed a fine of Rs 4.5 crores. The FIRs were lodged on 6 hospitals in Uttarakhand and Jharkhand states.


The Anti-Fraud units detected fake e-cards and lodged FIRs in the corresponding states. It is the responsibility of the sate health agency to create an e-card and add additional family member under the scheme if any. The Anti-Fraud Unit detected that the private hospitals were fraudulently performing these government reserved procedures.

Earlier similar cases were detected by the unit in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab and penalties were imposed.

Anti-Fraud Units

The Anti-Fraud Units operate under the guidelines provided by National Health Agency operating under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

National Health Agency

The National Health Agencies were set up in order to implement India’s flagship scheme “Ayushman Bharat”. The National Health Authority is the successor of National Health Agency.

Ayushman Bharat

The scheme aims at covering 10 crore poor families providing health coverage of 5 lakh rupees per family. The scheme is recently being criticized widely for the increased fraudulent activities by private hospitals. At least 697 fake cases have been registered in Uttarakhand alone. However, the scheme unlike its previous scheme Rashtriya Swasthya Bhima Yojana uses robust IT infrastructure to locate suspicious surges.

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