West Bengal Current Affairs - 2019
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Scientists from Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have identified new plant species named Drypetes kalamii from Buxa and Jaldapara National Parks in West Bengal. It has been named after former President of India, Dr APJ Kalam. The new species is close relative of medicinal plant known in Sanskrit as Putrajivah.
Drypetes kalamii is small shrub found to be shorter version of its close relative Drypetes ellisii. It is found in wet, shaded areas of subtropical, moist semi-evergreen forests, at heights of 50-100 metres. It is just 1 metre tall and is unisexual in nature, which means they have separate male and female plants. It has pale yellow flowers in clusters and bright orange to red fruits. Scientists have provisionally assessed plant to be “Critically Endangered” as per IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) rules. It faces threat from forest fires and grazing.
The West Bengal became the first state to opt out of Centre’s National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) announced in Union Budget 2018-19. According to State Government, it has already made hospitalisation and medical treatment free for its citizens and has already enrolled 50 lakh people under its Swasthya Sathi programme.
National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)
NHPS (Ayushman Bharat Scheme) dubbed ‘Modicare’ seeks to provide health insurance of Rs 5 Lakh to 10 crore poor and vulnerable households. Under it, up to Rs 5 lakh insurance cover will be provided to each family per year in secondary and tertiary care institutions.
NHPS will have 50 crore beneficiaries, making it world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme to provide quality health cover to population larger than combined citizenry of US, UK, Germany and France.
The Centre had drawn up health plan for the scheme in which 40% of fund for the scheme has to come from state. Under it, the central government will contribute Rs 2,000 crore to scheme out of a total cost of Rs 5,500-6,000 crore – the remaining amount is to be paid by the state governments.