Old Age Current Affairs - 2019
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India was ranked last at 43rd position in 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI) published by French asset management company Natixis Global.
The index ranks 43 countries on the basis of four factors viz. the material means to live comfortably in retirement (Material Well-being); access to quality health services (Health); access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income (Finances) and a clean and safe environment (Quality of Life ).
The 43 countries include members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
Key Highlights of 2017 GRI
Top three countries in 2017 GRI are Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. India ranks 43rd and has the same score compared to 2016 GRI. India also ranks the lowest among the BRIC economies.
India’s rank in all sub-indices is also in the bottom five. India position in all sub-indices is Material Well-being (41st), Health (43rd), Finances (39th) and Quality of Life (43rd).
India has the lowest income per capita of all countries in the GRI. Additionally, its score for the income equality indicator has declined compared to 2016 GRI. It has the lowest scores for all indicators within the sub-index including in insured health expenditure compared to 2016 GRI.
India ranks first in old-age dependency, second in tax pressure and sixth in interest rates. Interms of governance indicator India ranks as the fifth worst among all countries in the GRI. It also has the tenth-lowest score for the bank non-performing loans indicator. India ranked last in the Quality of Life sub-index.
India’s environmental factors indicator has improved due to progress in CO2 emissions per GDP. But it still ranks in bottom for happiness, water and sanitation, and air quality as well as scores second-worst for biodiversity and habitat among all GRI countries.
The Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has launched Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh.
The Scheme aims at providing physical aids and assisted-living devices for senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.
Key Provisions of the Scheme
- The scheme will be distribute free of cost physical aids and assisted-living devices for senior citizens belonging to BPL category in Camp mode.
- It is the first-of-its-kind Central Sector Scheme (CCS) in India, to be fully funded by the Union Government.
- It is expected to benefit 5,20,000 Senior Citizens and its expenditure implementation will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund“.
- Implementing Agency: Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), a PSU under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It will also undertake one year free maintenance of the devices.
- Aids and Assisted-Living Devices to be provided under it: The eligible elderly beneficiary will get walking sticks, elbow crutches, walkers/crutches, tripods/qadpods, hearing aids, wheelchair, aificial Dentures and Spectacles depending upon their physical impairment.
- Purpose: The assisted-living devices will help the Senior Citizens to overcome their age related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family.
- Identification of beneficiaries: It will be done by the State Governments/UTs through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector. 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women.
- The Committee can utilize the data of BPL beneficiaries receiving Old Age Pension under the NSAP or any other Scheme of the State/UTs for identification of senior citizens belonging to BPL category.
In the Union Budget 2015-16, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed formulation of a scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-Living Devices to senior citizens belonging to BPL Category. Pursuant to this, “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana” has been formulated. As per the Census figures of 2011, population of senior citizens in India is 10.38 crore. More than 70% of the population of senior citizens live in rural areas of the country. A sizeable percentage (5.2%) of the senior citizens suffers from some sort of disabilities related to old age.